How rat-infested is DC? No. 4 in nation, Orkin says

D.C. is holding on to its fourth-place ranking among an annual list of the nation’s rattiest metropolitan areas.

Orkin ranked 50 of America’s big cities according to the number of rodent treatments the pest control company performed in homes and businesses from September 2021 through August 2022.

For the eighth consecutive year, Chicago ranks No. 1 on the list. New York City moved into second place on this year’s list, bumping Los Angeles into third. Baltimore, meanwhile, ranked seventh, down from sixth.

On the flip side? Burlington, Vermont, bottomed out at 50th place, taking the medal as Orkin’s least rodent-infested city.

The top 10 rat-infested cities in America, according to Orkin:

  1. Chicago
  2. New York
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. San Francisco
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Baltimore
  8. Cleveland
  9. Detroit
  10. Denver

See Orkin’s full list.

Orkin said that each fall, mice and rodents invade an estimated 21 million U.S. homes seeking food and shelter from the cold. Rodents are not only a nuisance, but can pose health risks like being carriers for pathogens such as salmonella and hantavirus.

“Beyond health issues, rodents can cause severe structural damage with their strong jaws and burrowing skills,” the company said in a news release. “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.”

Signs of a rat infestation include droppings near food storage, gnaw marks on walls or wires, and scurrying-like noises. Shredded paper products, cotton or packing materials can be evidence of nests.

Orkin recommends staving off rodents by ensuring proper food storage, decluttering crowded spaces, sealing possible entry points and landscape maintenance. Learn more about keeping mice out of your home.

Anne Kramer

Anne Kramer is a freelance anchor with WTOP Radio. She has been a broadcast journalist for more than thirty years, with the last 25 spent at WBAL Radio in Baltimore. Anne likes reporting stories that make the listener stop and think — maybe even learn something new!

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