Find out which US cities top Orkin’s list for the most rodent treatments — Chicago is #1 again

by Brianna Crandall — October 23, 2017 — Fall temperatures are on the way and so are the rodents, warns pest control provider Orkin. The company just released its “Top 50 Rattiest Cities” list indicating the cities with the highest number of rodent treatments this past year. For the third consecutive ranking, Chicago takes the top spot.

The metro regions are ranked by the number of rodent treatments the company performed from September 15, 2016, to September 15, 2017. This ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

Orkin’s “Top 50 Rattiest Cities” for 2016 – 2017 are listed below, with changes in status indicated in parentheses:

  1. Chicago
  2. New York
  3. Los Angeles (+1)
  4. San Francisco – Oakland (+1)
  5. Washington, DC (-2)
  6. Philadelphia (+1)
  7. Detroit (+2)
  8. Baltimore (-2)
  9. Seattle – Tacoma
  10. Dallas – Ft. Worth (+4)
  11. Denver (-1)
  12. Minneapolis – St. Paul (-4)
  13. Cleveland – Akron (+2)
  14. Atlanta (+2)
  15. Boston (-3)
  16. Hartford – New Haven (+1)
  17. Portland, OR (+3)
  18. Miami – Ft. Lauderdale (-5)
  19. Indianapolis
  20. Houston (+1)
  21. Milwaukee (+2)
  22. Pittsburgh (-4)
  23. New Orleans (+15)
  24. Cincinnati (+10)
  25. Richmond – Petersburg
  26. Sacramento – Stockton (+6)
  27. Kansas City (+3)
  28. Charlotte (-1)
  29. Norfolk – Portsmouth – Newport News (-5)
  30. Buffalo (-1)
  31. Columbus, OH (+6)
  32. St. Louis (-4)
  33. Raleigh – Durham (-11)
  34. Grand Rapids – Kalamazoo (-1)
  35. San Diego (+12)
  36. Albany – Schenectady (-10)
  37. San Antonio
  38. Tampa – St. Petersburg (-7)
  39. Rochester, NY (-4)
  40. Nashville (-1)
  41. Champaign – Springfield – Decatur
  42. Greenville – Spartanburg (-2)
  43. Memphis
  44. Phoenix (+1)
  45. Syracuse
  46. West Palm Beach (-10)
  47. Orlando – Daytona Beach (-1)
  48. Madison (+1)
  49. Flint – Saginaw (-8)
  50. Green Bay – Appleton (-6)

Fall is the start of rodent season, notes Orkin. As the weather gets colder, unwanted pests like rats and mice seek out food, water and shelter to survive the winter. According to the National Pest Management Association, more than 20 million rodents invade homes each year.

John Kane, entomologist and technical director of Orkin’s Midwest Region, pointed out:

Rats and mice begin looking for warmer, more insulated places to get through the winter, and these too often happen to be our homes or businesses. Rodents like to chew on wood and electrical wires, increasing the fire danger behind your walls and potentially damage to your home.

According to Kane, it’s not hard for rodents to get inside a home or business. He added:

Rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, while mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime. Even if they can’t find an opening, they can often chew their way in.

Rodents chew on many materials, including wood and the insulation around wires. It is estimated approximately 25 percent of unexplained wildfires start from rodent chewing. If rodent issues go unrecognized or ignored, their chewing can damage wires in the attic, basement or even in vehicles.  Rodent burrowing can also cause cracks in a building’s foundation.

Kane continued:

Beyond property damage, there are other important reasons to prevent, notice and eliminate rodent infestations.  They can contaminate food and transmit pathogens through urine, feces and bites that affect health.

To help people avoid the health and safety risks that are possible with these pests, Orkin recommends inspecting both inside and outside the building for early detection, searching for possible hidden entry points and sealing any holes that are found, including installing weather strips around entryways. The company also recommends storing food in tightly sealed rodent-proof containers and cleaning up crumbs and spills as soon as they happen to avoid attracting rodents.

Orkin Commercial Pest Specialists in more than 400 locations provide site inspection and exclusion services, offer detailed sanitation guidelines and recommendations, and deliver ongoing monitoring and maintenance for effectiveness. They perform rodent treatments with a combination of traps and select rodenticide baits when there is an infestation.

For more information about rodent prevention, visit Orkin’s Commercial Rodent Control Services Web page.