Orkin releases Top 50 Rattiest Cities List


October 20, 2022

Photo: Pierre Aden/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Pierre Aden/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Chicago, Ill., may soon need to change its name from “The Windy City” to the “Rattiest City,” after topping Orkin’s Top 50 Rattiest Cities List, yet again.

For the eighth consecutive year, this Midwestern city takes the top spot on Orkin’s list. New York City beat out Los Angeles, Calif., for the No. 2 ranking — and entering the Top 20 this year is Hartford, Conn. It takes the No. 19 spot, while Miami, Fla., rises three spots to secure the No. 20 spot.

  1. Chicago, Ill.
  2. New York City, N.Y. (+1)
  3. Los Angeles, Calif (-1)
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. San Francisco, Calif.
  6. Philadelphia, Pa. (+1)
  7. Baltimore, Md. (-1)
  8. Cleveland, Ohio (+2)
  9. Detroit, Mich. (-1)
  10. Denver, Colo. (-1)
  11. Seattle, Wash.
  12. Minneapolis, Minn.
  13. Boston, Mass.
  14. Atlanta, Ga. (+1)
  15. Indianapolis, Ind. (-1)
  16. Pittsburgh, Pa.
  17. Cincinnati, Ohio (+2)
  18. San Diego, Calif. (-1)
  19. Hartford, Conn. (+2)
  20. Miami, Fla.
  21. Milwaukee, Wis. (+1)
  22. Houston, Texas (-4)
  23. Dallas, Texas (-3)
  24. Portland, Ore.
  25. Columbus, Ohio (+1)
  26. Richmond, Va. (+2)
  27. Kansas City, Mo. (-2)
  28. Norfolk, Va. (-1)
  29. Nashville, Tenn. (+7)
  30. St. Louis, Mo.
  31. Grand Rapids, Mich. (+1)
  32. Raleigh, N.C. (+3)
  33. Champaign, Ill. (+4)
  34. Albany, N.Y. (-3)
  35. Louisville, Ky. (+5)
  36. Sacramento, Calif. (-7)
  37. New Orleans, La. (-4)
  38. Charlotte, N.C. (+4)
  39. Buffalo, N.Y. (+2)
  40. Flint, Mich. (-6)
  41. Greenville, N.C. (+3)
  42. Syracuse, N.Y. (+4)
  43. Tampa, Fla. (+7)
  44. South Bend, Ind. (+21)
  45. Portland, Ore. (-7)
  46. Phoenix, Ariz. (-3)
  47. Charleston, N.C.
  48. Fort Wayne, Ind. (+12)
  49. Orlando, Fla. (+3)
  50. Burlington, Iowa (-11)

Each fall, mice and other rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the United States. They typically enter homes between October and February looking for food, water and shelter from the cold. And unique to previous years, with the influx of outdoor dining structures brought on by the pandemic, rodents have found the perfect place to dine, live and multiply, so consumers should pay extra attention to the attractants that entice rats and mice.

“Rodent infestations are among the top pest issues of the fall and winter seasons,” said Dr. Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist. “Not only are mice and rats a nuisance, but they are known to spread a variety of dangerous diseases, including Salmonella and Hantavirus.”

Make sure to inform customers about potential signs of rodent infestations including:

  • Droppings: Rodent droppings are often left behind in places where food is stored, such as kitchen cabinets or pantries, under sinks, inside chewed cardboard boxes, along baseboards and on top of wall beams
  • Gnaw marks: Mice are known to bite through walls, wood and wires. The damage to wiring within walls can increase the risk for a house fire.
  • Nests: Rodents prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas where there is little chance of disturbance. Be on the lookout for shredded paper products, cotton, packing materials and other fabrics, as house mice like to build nests out of these materials.
  • Rub marks: Rats tend to leave dark grease or dirt marks along walls and floorboards as they follow a trail throughout the home between their nest and food.
  • Strange noises: Scurrying in the walls or in the attic could mean a rodent family is present. Rodents are especially fond of attics as it’s an insulated area for nest building.

Orkin recommends the following tips to tell customers to prevent:

  • Store away food. Small crumbs and garbage are popular food sources, as are dry goods such as grains and cereals. These should be kept in sealed metal or glass containers to prevent contamination.
  • Declutter. Cardboard objects prove attractive to rodents, as they tend to chew them up for use in their nests. Take advantage of your extra time at home to clean and organize crowded spaces around the house.
  • Maintain your landscaping. Tall grass with adequate harborages, such as woodpiles next to the house, can be ideal habitats for rodents. Tree branches in contact with homes can also offer rodents easy access to the upper levels of your home where they may find a way into the attic.
  • Inspect both inside and outside your home. Keep an eye out for rodent droppings, burrows and rub marks along baseboards and walls. The sooner rodents are detected, the better.
  • Look for possible entry points. Seal any holes and cracks that are found around your home. Install weather strips around entryways, especially under doors, to help keep mice out of your home.

Are you surprised about some of the cities on the list? Let us know at pmpeditor@northcoastmedia.net.


About the Author

Ellen Wagner is a former digital editor for PMP magazine.

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