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Chicago Ranked #1 City on Orkin’s Top 50 Rattiest Cities List for Fifth Consecutive Time

Atlanta and Minneapolis break into Top 10

ATLANTA, Oct. 15, 2019 – Winter is coming, and so are the rodents. Orkin released its Top 50 Rattiest Cities list today, and for the fifth consecutive time, Chicago takes the top spot. New to the Top 10 cities this year are Minneapolis and Atlanta, holding the eighth and tenth spots, respectively.

Orkin ranked metro regions by the number of new rodent treatments performed from September 15, 2018 – September 15, 2019. This ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

  1. Chicago

  2. Los Angeles

  3. New York

  4. Washington, DC (Hagerstown)

  5. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose

  6. Detroit

  7. Cleveland-Akron (Canton) (+1)

  8. Minneapolis-St. Paul (+3)

  9. Philadelphia (-2)

  10. Atlanta (+5)

  11. Denver (-1)

  12. Baltimore (-3)

  13. Seattle-Tacoma (+1)

  14. Boston (Manchester) (-1)

  15. Dallas-Ft. Worth (-3)

  16. Indianapolis

  17. Houston (+6)

  18. Milwaukee (+3)

  19. Pittsburgh

  20. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (-3)

  21. Columbus, OH (+4)

  22. Portland, OR (+2)

  23. Cincinnati (-3)

  24. Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville) (+3)

  25. Hartford & New Haven (-7)

  26. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News (+4)

  27. New Orleans (+2)

  28. Richmond-Petersburg (+3)

  29. Charlotte (-7)

  30. Grand Rapids-Kalmazoo-Battle Creek (+9)

  31. St. Louis (+5)

  32. Buffalo (-4)

  33. Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville(+5)

  34. Nashville (+1)

  35. San Diego (-9)

  36. Champaign & Springfield-Decatur (+8)

  37. Kansas City (-4)

  38. Phoenix (Prescott) (-2)

  39. Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melborne (+2)

  40. Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota) (+2)

  41. Syracuse (+5)

  42. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto (-5)

  43. Charleston-Huntington (-4)

  44. Ft. Wayne (+4)

  45. Portland-Auburn (+15)

  46. Flint-Saginaw-Bay City (-11)

  47. Albany-Schenectady-Troy (-15)

  48. Dayton

  49. Burlington-Plattsburgh (-6)

  50. Madison (+1)

During the colder months, rodent activity increases as these pests seek shelter in warm areas with readily-available food and water. In fact, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) states that 24 percent of homeowners report mice infestations specifically in the winter.

“Unfortunately, residential properties offer the ideal habitat for rodents because of access to food and water sources, potential entry points and hiding places,” said Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist. “A rat can squeeze through an opening as small as a quarter, while a mouse can wedge its way into a hole smaller than a dime.”

Rodents are known to cause severe structural damage with their strong jaws and burrowing skills. They can chew through just about anything including electrical wires, and potentially gas lines. It’s estimated approximately 25 percent of unexplained fires start from rodent chewing.

“Beyond structural damage, there are multiple health issues associated with rodents including food poisoning, rat-bite fever, hantavirus and even the bubonic plague. Rodents can easily spread diseases in a home or commercial site in a short period of time,” Hartzer added.

The most common rodent pests in the United States are the house mouse, the Norway rat and the roof rat.

The first step to controlling an infestation is to properly identify of the types of rodents at your home:

  • House Mouse: Nest in any area they can find, especially if it is close to their food source.

  • Norway Rat: Burrow underground and can get in through foundations and openings as small as an inch (24mm). Watch out for scraps of shredded paper or cloth – this may be a sign that Norway rats are nesting in your house.

  • Roof Rat: Found up high and are great climbers. They nest in trees or rafters of homes.

The good news though, is these threats are manageable and preventable.

To help people avoid the potential health and safety risks associated with rodents, Orkin recommends the following tips to help prevent rats and mice in and 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. Install weather strips around entryways, especially under doors, to help block rodents from sneaking inside.

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

  • 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. To effectively control rodent introductions, contact a trained pest professional who can assess your situation, implement a sound solution that is designed just for your home and monitor for improvements over time.

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 LinkedIn.

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