Rats in Chicago: Orkin pest control dubs city 'rattiest' in US for 9th straight year

Los Angeles rats come in 2nd to Windy City's

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
We're No. 1! Chicago ranked most rat-infested city 9th year in a row
Chicago was ranked the "rattiest city" by Orkin pest control for the 9th straight year.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago was dubbed the "rattiest" city in the U.S. for the ninth consecutive year, according to Orkin.

Los Angeles reclaimed the No. 2 ranking, and New York dropped to third. Washington, D.C. and San Francisco rounded out the top five, according to the list released Monday.

Orkin ranked metro regions by the number of new rodent treatments performed from Sept. 1, 2022 to Aug. 31, 2023. This ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

Each fall, mice and other rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the United States, Orkin said. They typically enter homes between October and February looking for food, water and shelter from the cold.

"Rodents multiply swiftly and when an infestation is left unattended, they can cause extensive damage to homes and yards," said Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist. "Rats are capable of squeezing into spaces through holes as small as a quarter, which makes it especially important to seal cracks from the outside."

Here is how the top 10 looks:

1. Chicago

2. Los Angeles

3. New York

4. Washington, D.C.

5. San Francisco

6. Philadelphia

7. Baltimore

8. Denver

9. Detroit

10. Cleveland

Orkin recommends the following tips to help prevent rats and mice in and around the home:

  • Do not leave out 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.
  • Avoid cluttered spaces. Cardboard objects prove attractive to rodents, as they tend to chew them up for use in their nests.
  • Do not let the landscaping run wild. 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 for rodent droppings, burrows and rub marks along baseboards and walls. The more quickly rodents are detected, the better.
  • Look for possible entry points outside your home and seal cracks and holes if any are found. Install weather strips around entryways, especially under doors, to help block rodents from sneaking inside.