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Oh, Rats! Chicago Tops Orkin’s Rattiest Cities List for Ninth Consecutive Year

Los Angeles Reclaims Second Spot, New York Drops to Third

ATLANTA (Oct. 23, 2023)Chicago continues its first-place run in the rat race, topping Orkin’s Top 50 Rattiest Cities List for the ninth year in a row. Los Angeles moved up to the #2 ranking while New York rounds out the top three spots. Jumping up 10 spots this year is Houston to #20, and Greensboro, N.C., moves up 17 spots to take #50.

New this year, Orkin is celebrating Chicago’s top spot placement by releasing a limited-edition t-shirt made available for free while supplies last. The shirt will feature a Top Rattiest City design made specifically for Chicago, commemorating the dedication of the city as it perseveres in the battle against rodents.

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.

Orkin ranked metro regions by the number of new rodent treatments performed from Sept.1, 2022, to Aug. 31, 2023. This ranking includes both residential and commercial pest control treatments.


  2. LOS ANGELES (+1)

  3. NEW YORK (-1)






  9. DETROIT (+1)




  13. BOSTON





  18. COLUMBUS, OH (+3)


  20. HOUSTON (+10)

  21. CHARLOTTE (+16)

  22. DALLAS-FT. WORTH (+2)


  24. MILWAUKEE (-6)

  25. GRAND RAPIDS (-2)

  26. PORTLAND, OR (-4)


  28. SAN DIEGO (-9)


  30. NEW ORLEANS (+8)

  31. CINCINNATI (-6)


  33. SACRAMENTO (+7)

  34. KANSAS CITY (-5)

  35. NASHVILLE (-9)

  36. TAMPA-ST. PETE (+5)


  38. BUFFALO (-5)

  39. ST. LOUIS (-5)

  40. PHOENIX (+5)

  41. CHAMPAIGN, IL (-14)

  42. ALBANY-TROY (-6)

  43. FLINT (-8)


  45. ALBUQUERQUE (+17)

  46. ROCHESTER, NY (+5)

  47. SOUTH BEND, IN (-4)

  48. SYRACUSE (-9)


  50. GREENSBORO, N.C. (+17)

Each fall, mice and other rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the United States. They typically enter homes between October and February looking for food, water and shelter from the cold.

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

Rodents can cause health issues and also severe structural damage with their strong jaws and burrowing skills. They have oversized front teeth for gnawing, and teeth which are adapted for chewing a variety of items including electrical wires, water pipes and gas lines.

Because of the threats that rodents pose, it’s important for homeowners and business owners to know how to spot a rat or mouse infestation in order to take a proactive approach in eliminating them from their homes and facilities. A few common signs of a rodent infestation include:

  • Droppings: Rodent droppings are often left behind in places where food is stored, such as kitchen cabinets or pantries, under sinks, inside chewed cardboard boxes, along baseboards and on top of wall beams

  • Gnaw marks: Mice are known to bite through walls, wood and wires. The damage to wiring within walls can increase the risk of a house fire.

  • Nests: Rodents prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas where there is little chance of disturbance. Be on the lookout for shredded paper products, cotton, packing materials and other fabrics, as house mice like to build nests out of these materials.

  • Rub marks: Rats tend to leave dark grease or dirt marks along walls and floorboards as they follow a trail throughout the home between their nest and food.

  • Strange noises: Scurrying in the walls or in the attic could mean a rodent family is present. Rodents are especially fond of attics as it’s an insulated area for nest building.

The good news is homeowners and business owners can help prevent rodent infestation troubles by taking a proactive approach in eliminating entryways into their home and business. To help avoid the potential health and safety risks associated with rodents, Orkin recommends the following tips to help keep rodents out:

  • Store away 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.

  • Declutter. Cardboard objects prove attractive to rodents, as they tend to chew them up for use in their nests. Take advantage of your extra time at home to clean and organize crowded spaces around the house and facility.

  • Maintain your landscaping. 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. Keep an eye out for rodent droppings, burrows and rub marks along baseboards and walls. The sooner rodents are detected, the better.

  • Look for possible entry points. Seal any holes and cracks that are found around your home. Install weather strips around entryways, especially under doors, to help keep mice out of your home.

Using the tips above, homes and businesses across the nation can be better equipped to keep rats and mice out. To effectively control rodent infestations, contact an Orkin Pro 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. Orkin has 358 owned and operated branch offices and 47 franchises in the U.S. The company also has international franchises and subsidiaries in Canada, Europe, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa, and Mexico. For more than 120 years, Orkin has been committed to protecting public health by helping prevent and control pests as well as educating consumers on the potential health risks posed by these pests. As such, Orkin Pros always put the customer first and approach every opportunity with the utmost professionalism and the knowledge and skillset to solve any pest problem. Since 2020, Orkin has partnered with the American Red Cross® to inform the public about the health threats of mosquitoes while boosting our country’s blood supply through monetary contributions and blood donations. Orkin is committed to hiring the world’s best to help protect the places where we live, work and play. Learn more about careers at Orkin here. Visit for additional information. Orkin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rollins Inc. (NYSE: ROL). Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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