BC’s ‘rat city’ earns the title for 5th year; ‘bolder behavior’, including cannibalism noted


Congratulations, Vancouver.

For the fifth year in a row, the city has gone on to win a competition that most would probably prefer not to win. Vancouver, according to a Canadian pest control company, is BC’s “ratest” city.

Orkin Canada said in a press release announcing the winners – or losers? Of the annual ranking that its experts have noticed “bolder behavior” in BC rats. The rodents are mainly nocturnal, but are increasingly seen during the day.

And according to the company’s anecdotal evidence, outlined in a blog about the impact of COVID-19 on rat populations, other behaviors include adopting a “survival of the fittest” mentality.

“There are signs of cannibalism among rodent populations, suggesting that the young, old and weak rats will be eliminated – the domino effect creates a reduction in the population / colonies.”

Orkin added that the more aggressive rats must be in order to survive, the more likely they are to attack larger species, including humans. These aggressive genes can be transmitted to offspring, Orkin said. Fortunately, there is as yet no evidence of what it calls a “dominant sub-sector” of particularly aggressive rodents.

Another trend pest control experts said they saw was a migration of both rats and mice out of city centers.

As mentioned last year, it seems that rats are following humans somewhat. Since many still work from home and do not commute, there is less food to be had in once-busy urban areas.

Instead, rats and mice are on their way to the suburbs and residential areas, where there is more food to be had. Orkin

But according to Orkin, which bases its rankings on how many calls it received between August 2020 and the end of July 2021, Vancouver still appears to have the most rats in BC

Also in the top 10 are Burnaby, Victoria, Surrey, Kelowna, Richmond, Vernon, Abbotsford, Langley and Coquitlam.

Vernon has moved up the rankings, the company said, while North Vancouver (now at 13) and Duncan (now at 18) have moved down the list.

The graphic below shows the full list of 20.

Orkin Canada’s crashed ‘cities in BC, 2021

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