The suburbs have seen an influx of new residents throughout the pandemic, but not the kind you’d expect. Rodent populations have thrived over the past year, thanks to more people cooking and eating at home, according to pest control company Orkin Canada.

The new abundance of food waste in residential areas has made rats and mice “bolder” than before. Orkin claims that rodents, who are mainly nocturnal, are being spotted during the daytime more frequently in the last 12 months.

Rodents are also making “migrations from resource-depleted urban centres to food-rich suburban areas,” which could be contributing to booming rat populations in the suburbs.

Orkin has also released its ranking of Ontarios’ “rattiest cities” for 2021, which is based on the number of commercial and residential rodent treatments in cities around the province between August 1, 2020, and July 31, 2021.

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According to the ranking, Ottawa’s rodent problem has gotten significantly worse lately, rising from 12th place to 4th. Meanwhile, Sudbury’s situation seems to have improved, falling from 8th to 19th place on the list.

The ranking supports Orkin’s theory about rats and mice multiplying in the suburbs. The rattiest cities of 2021 are almost entirely in the GTA, including Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Brampton, and Oshawa.

Here are Ontario’s 10 most rodent-infested cities of 2021:

1. Toronto
2. Mississauga
3. Scarborough
4. Ottawa
5. North York
6. Etobicoke
7. Richmond Hill
8. Brampton
9. London
10. Oshawa

Many of these places also happen to be Canada’s most bed-bug infested cities, so needless to say, we’ve got unwelcome critters in our midst.