Chicago Beats Out New York to Earn Top Spot on List of ‘Rattiest' Cities

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Chicago just came in the top spot on a new ranking of major metro cities -- but this is one list the city doesn't want to infest.

Orkin Pest Control on Monday released its annual report ranking the "Top 50 Rattiest Cities," from most rodent-filled to least.

And for the 8th consecutive year, Chicago, unfortunately has been crowned at No. 1

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

Earlier this month, Doug Taron, curator of biology and vice president of research and conservation at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum warned of more mice entering homes in the Chicago-area for that same reason.

"Mice really try to go inside at this time of year," Taron said. "This is when a lot of people will notice that they have a mouse problem as the weather is getting cooler. And they are they're seeking, you know, shelter. And and in some cases, people provide them inadvertently food, too. So there's a lot to it for a mouse to like indoors at this time of year."

But just because rodents want to be inside your house doesn't mean you should invite them in. According to Orkin, rodents like rats and mice pose a variety of health issues and can cause structural damage.

“Not only are mice and rats a nuisance, but they are known to spread a variety of dangerous diseases, including Salmonella and Hantavirus," said said Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist. "Beyond health issues, rodents can cause severe structural damage with their strong jaws and burrowing skills. They have oversized front teeth for gnawing, and teeth which are adapted for chewing a variety of items including electrical wires, water pipes and gas lines."

The ranking, according to Orkin, is based on the "number of new rodent treatments performed from Sept. 1, 2021, to Aug. 31, 2022," in metro regions for both residential and commercial treatments.

Chicago came in No. 1 on the list for the eighth time in a row, Orkin says. New York earned the No. 2 spot, and Los Angeles came in third.

Here's which cities round out the top 10 "rattiest":

  1. Chicago
  2. New York
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Washington D.C.
  5. San Francisco
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Baltimore
  8. Cleveland
  9. Detroit
  10. Denver

Signs to look out for, Orkin says, of rats or mice inside your home might be: rodent droppings in kitchen cabinets or under sinks, gnaw marks on wood, wires and baseboards, nests made up of shredded paper or packing material, "rub marks" of dark grease or dirt along floorboards or walls, and strange, scurrying noises along the wall or in the attic.

Sound familiar? If you live in Chicago, it might.

Ah, rats.

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