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Hide the pizza! These are the US cities with the most rats

A new survey shows the 50 "rattiest" cities in the United States. Did your city make it on the list?
Hide the pizza! These are the US cities with the most rats
Posted at 4:49 PM, Oct 25, 2023

We all know the quote “rats don’t run this city, we do!” However, a new study is telling a different tale. 

Surprisingly, New York isn't leading the pack as you might expect. For the ninth year running, Chicago has earned the title of the "rattiest" city in the U.S., according to Orkin's annual survey of the nation's most rodent-infested places. 

"Cities on the Rattiest Cities List are based on the number of new rodent services showcasing the demand and also indicates the efforts that residents and businesses of the top cities have taken to treat rodent issues," the survey notes. 

According to Orkin, they ranked metro regions based on new rodent treatments from Sept. 2022 to Aug. 2023, covering both residential and commercial pest control. 

The top 10 "rattiest" cities are:

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-Akron

While reviewing Orkin's complete list of 50 cities and their rankings, it's a good idea to start taking some precautions against rat infestations in your own home. Orkin, an American pest control company, highlights that each autumn, around 21 million U.S. homes are infiltrated by mice and other rodents in search of food, water, and shelter, with their activity peaking between October and February.

“Rodents multiply swiftly, and when an infestation is left unattended, they can cause extensive damage to homes and yards,” said Ben Hottel with Orkin, in a press release. “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.”

While some of us may think some rodents are cute, you still want to be very careful around them, as many may carry and spread diseases. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rodents such as rats, mice, and chipmunks could carry Hantavirus, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM), and monkeypox. 

These, and many more diseases, can spread to humans through direct contact with the rodents or their feces, urine or saliva, or by being bitten by rodents. Additionally, rodents can carry ticks or fleas, which can also spread diseases.

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