Rats in SF: Here's where the city ranks in Orkin pest control's 'rattiest' cities in the US

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022
We're No. 1! Chicago ranked most rat-infested city 8th year in a row
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Chicago was ranked the "rattiest city" by Orkin pest control for the 8th straight year.

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco was ranked in the middle of the top ten "rattiest" cities in the U.S., according to Orkin's annual list. San Francisco was also in the number 5 spot in 2021 and 2020.

Chicago has once again, for the eighth consecutive year, taken the crown as the most rat-infested city.

New York beat out Los Angeles for the No. 2 ranking, and Hartford, Connecticut and Miami broke into the top 20, according to the list released Monday.

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Orkin ranked metro regions by the number of new rodent treatments performed from Sept. 1, 2021, to Aug. 31, 2022. 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. And, unique to previous years, with the influx of outdoor dining structures brought on by the COVID pandemic, rodents have found the perfect place to dine, live and multiply, Orkin said.

"Rodent infestations are among the top pest issues of the fall and winter seasons," said 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."

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Here is how the top 10 looks:

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

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.
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