DC is nation’s 3rd-rattiest city

WASHINGTON — The District has a rat problem, and it has nothing to do with politics.

Exterminating company Orkin ranks the District number three on its list of cities with the biggest rat infestation, behind only New York City and Chicago.

Orkin bases its list on the number of rodent treatments it performed from Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016.

Rodents aren’t just an inner-city problem. A survey commissioned by Orkin finds 40 percent of people surveyed have had rodents in their home at some point.

And fall is the start of rodent season. As the weather gets colder, rats and mice seek out food, water and shelter to survive the winter.

“Fall evenings as mild as those in the mid-50s can send rodents indoors to search for warmth, where they can cause hundreds of dollars in damages to homes and businesses,” said John Kane, entomologist and technical director at Orkin, adding that they do not need much of an invitation to enter a home.

Rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, while mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime.

They also like to chew on wood and electrical wires, making them a fire hazard, in addition to being a food contamination and health threat.

Orkin’s 10 Rattiest Cities:

2. New York City
3. Washington, D.C.
4. Los Angeles
5. San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose
6. Baltimore
7. Philadelphia
8, Minneapolis
9. Detroit
10. Denver

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up