According to Orkin Pest Control company, New Haven has a significant rodent problem — but pest control companies in the city do not believe current conditions are exceptionally bad.
Orkin, the leading pest control company in the United States, issued a press release last month listing the U.S.’s “50 Rattiest Cities.” The list ranked Hartford and New Haven as the 17th most rodent-infested cities in the country. Despite the report’s claims, pest control companies in New Haven have not noted any significant discrepancy in terms of rodent problems this year as compared to last.
“It’s an issue [in New Haven] as it is in any other city,” said a technician from the Yale Termite & Pest Elimination Corporation, an independent pest control company unaffiliated with the University.
He noted that urban cites usually suffer from rodent issues, and that requests for rodent extermination received by the company this past year did not differ significantly from previous years.
Orkin’s report was based on the number of residential and commercial treatments it performed from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016, across various cities. The Midwest suffered the worst from rodent issues, with 13 of the 50 spots on the list occupied by cities in that region. Chicago came in first in the rankings, just as it did in the company’s 2014 report. Other cities that have repeatedly shown up in Orkin’s listings include Baltimore, Detroit and Los Angeles. New Haven and Hartford were the only cities in Connecticut to land a spot in the rankings.
However, most pest control companies that serve New Haven said city conditions have not significantly changed.
Guaranty Pest Elimination, a family-owned pest control business that services New Haven, did not identify any significant differences between the degree of rodent infestation issues in New Haven and those of surrounding cities. Another local pest control company noted that cities tend to have higher rates of rodent infestation than more suburban or rural areas, but that New Haven was not unique among cities in terms of rat issues.
Based on Orkin’s criteria, however, the average amount of rodent extermination requests in the Elm City still eclipsed requests in much of the rest of the country. According to an Orkin representative, the company devised the list based on the number of phone calls it receives from any “designated market area.” The representative added that urban sites like New Haven tend to suffer from rodent infestations because of their higher population density.
“High populations of people generally means more waste, which means rodents,” the Orkin representative said. “They’re looking for food, water, shelter. And where people are, those things are. That’s why [rodents are] more drawn to city areas versus more rural areas.”
Crucially, the representative added that heavy construction could contribute to pest problems, as it unearths rodents that subsequently search for new places to inhabit.
The YTPEC technician noted similarly and said extensive construction tends to chase rodents into buildings. As such, the ongoing construction of Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray colleges on the University’s campus could make rodent issues a normal occurrence, he said.
According to the Connecticut Pest Elimination’s director of operations, rodent infestation rates have been increasing throughout Connecticut over the past few years in residential, commercial and municipal areas. However, he said he would not categorize New Haven as suffering from exceptionally poor pest control issues relative to other cities. However, he acknowledged that Orkin, as a national pest control company with a wealth of resources, has access to data outside of Connecticut that CPE — the largest independently owned company in the state — and as such is in a better position to make comparative judgments.
Orkin’s press release also warned that the cold weather could increase rodent problems, as it forces rodents to seek warmth in new shelters.