Safety and OSHA News

Top 5 cities for rats

These little varmints can cause a lot of building damage if left uncontrolled. So which U.S. cities have the most rats? 

Pest-control company Orkin has published its Top 50 Rattiest Cities List for 2017. The metro regions are ranked by the number of rodent treatments Orkin performed from Sept. 15, 2016, to Sept. 15, 2017. The ranking includes commercial and residential properties.

We’ll give you the top 5 and some other highlights – or should that be lowlights?

  1. Chicago
  2. New York
  3. Los Angeles
  4. San Francisco-Oakland, and
  5. Washington, DC.

Chicago has topped Orkin’s list for three consecutive years. New York was second last year, too. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, DC, were all in the top 5 last year, but in a different order.

Philadelphia and Detroit could make the top 5 in 2018 if their trend continues. Philly came in at No. 6, moving up one notch from last year, while Detroit jumped up two spots to No. 7.

Raleigh-Durham and West Palm Beach improved the most from last year. Raleigh-Durham fell 11 spots to No. 33, while West Palm fell 10 positions to No. 46. If West Palm keep this up, it might not make the top 50 list next year.

The top cities going in the wrong direction are New Orleans and Cincinnati. New Orleans gained 15 places to reach No. 23 in 2017. Cincinnati moved up 10 spots to No. 24.

Fall is the start of rodent season, according to Orkin. As the weather gets colder, rats and mice seek warmth and food indoors.

These small animals can cause a surprising amount of damage to a building. Rodents chew on wood and electrical wires, causing a fire hazard. It’s estimated about 25% of unexplained wildfires start from rodent chewing.

They don’t need space to get inside. Rates can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter. Mice can fit through an opening the size of a dime.

Rodents bring more hazards than property damage. They can contaminate food and transmit pathogens through urine, feces and bites.

To keep rodents from becoming indoor pests, Orkin advises:

  • Inspect inside and outside for rodent droppings, burrows and rub marks along baseboards and walls.
  • Look for possible entry points and seal them.
  • Install weather strips around entryways.
  • Store food properly by keeping it tightly sealed.
  • Clean up food spills as soon as they happen so that sugary substances don’t attract rodents, and
  • Cut back trees and bushes to at least three feet away from buildings to avoid giving rodents a place to access gutters and roofs.

To see Orkin’s entire Top 50 Rattiest Cities List, click here.

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