Chicago Tops Orkin Top 50 Rattiest Cities List for Third Time

New Orleans and Cincinnati make big moves into top 25.

ATLANTA, Oct. 16, 2017 – Fall temperatures are on the way and so are the rodents. Orkin released its Top 50 Rattiest Cities list today. 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 – September 15
, 2017. This ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

  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. 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.

“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,” said John Kane, entomologist and Technical Director of Orkin’s Midwest Region. “Rodents like to chew on wood and electrical wires, increasing the fire danger behind your walls and potentially damage to your home.” Kane added it’s not hard for rodents to get inside a home or business.

“Rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, while mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime,” Kane said. “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’s 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 home’s foundation. “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 the following tips to help prevent rodents around the home:

  • Inspect both inside and outside the 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 the home and seal cracks and holes if any are found. Think, “where would YOU hide or enter if you were a rodent?” It’ll be hidden, dark, probably warm, and difficult to reach!

  • Install weather strips around entryways, especially under doors, to help block rodents from sneaking inside.

  • Store food properly by keeping it sealed tightly in rodent-proof containers like plastic bins or metal canisters. Otherwise, rodents may smell food and break into weaker containers.

  • Clean up crumbs and spills as soon as they happen to avoid leaving food residue or sugary substances that can attract rodents.

  • Cut back trees and bushes to at least three feet away from homes to avoid giving rodents a “jumping off” point to access the gutters, roof or other hidden openings.

Using the tips above, homes across the nation can be better equipped to keep rodents out. If there is ever a time when a rodent infestation is suspected, contact a local pest management expert as soon as possible.

For more information about rodent prevention, visit

About Orkin, LLC

Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects. The company operates more than 400 locations with almost 8,000 employees. Using a proprietary, three-step approach, Orkin provides customized services to approximately 1.7 million homeowners and businesses in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa. Orkin is committed to studying pest biology and applying scientifically proven methods. The company collaborates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and eight major universities to conduct research and help educate consumers and businesses on pest-related health threats. Learn more about Orkin at Orkin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rollins Inc. (NYSE: ROL). Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Read More

From the Press Room

Press and Media

Help protect your home from rodents this winter

As Fall Weather Rolls In, Keep Out Rodents

Unseasonably Warm Weather Could Mean Busy Spring Pest Season

Top 50 Most Termite-Infested Cities in 2022

Atlanta Ranked #1 on Orkin’s 2020 Mosquito Cities List for Seventh Consecutive Year

Orkin Celebrates 120 Years

Orkin's 2022 Top Mosquito Cities

Orkin Inc. Acquires Four Pest Control Companies In Texas And New York

North America’s Finest Receive 2007 Gold Medal IPM Partner Awards

Four Food Facilities Honored for Integrated Pest Management Excellence-2

Connect with Us

Our customer care team is available for you 24 hours a day.


Find a Branch

Our local Pros are the pest experts in your area.

Get a Personalized Quote

We will help you find the right treatment plan for your home.



Pest ControlTermite ControlPrevent and Protect


Browse All Pests

© 2022 Orkin LLC

Terms of UsePrivacyAccessibility StatementCareers