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subterranean Oct 15, 2019 10:35 PM

Worst Cities for Rats

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)

Derek Oct 15, 2019 10:45 PM

Perfect timing! I stepped on a dead rat outside of a concert I was leaving last night in Portland...

The smell...

subterranean Oct 15, 2019 11:02 PM

There are a lot of rats in and around Portland, for sure.

Centropolis Oct 15, 2019 11:31 PM

chicago is the only u.s. city that i’ve seen massive rats skittering across alleys/streets sort of semi-routinely.

James Bond Agent 007 Oct 16, 2019 12:46 AM


37. Kansas City (-4)
Glad to hear my city is relatively rat-unfriendly.

I attribute that situation to my cat.

Steely Dan Oct 16, 2019 1:13 AM

This study does not appear to control for population, it's just a ranking of the number of new rat treatments performed by orkin in the past year by metro area.

Is it any surprise that the 5 largest CSAs in the nation top the list?

Who knew, the metro areas with the most people apparently have the most rats. What a revelation.

xzmattzx Oct 16, 2019 2:06 AM

What's with the cities in parentheses, like Hagerstown and Fayetteville?

montréaliste Oct 16, 2019 2:11 AM

Do they take into account lab rats?

pj3000 Oct 16, 2019 3:09 AM

I’ve never seen them as frequently or as large rats as I’ve seen when I was living in NYC

chris08876 Oct 16, 2019 3:22 AM

Its the food and affordable housing that protects against the elements. NY is not the worst city for rats, the rat community would not agree with that. Its a prime location for a rat to raise his rat family and little rat children. The subway offers ample affordable housing for rats. There are plenty of food options for rats as people usually toss garbage into trash containers that are overflowing, and so food is on the ground. Plenty of garbage during garbage pickup nights for the rats to feast on.

Rats are not fan of Deblasio who said and I quote "“We want to make the greatest city on earth the worst place in the world to be a rat".

Plus... who could forget about New Years day, where over a thousands of people toss food, and drop bottles of liquor on the floor. This gives the rats a feast, enough food for months, to scurry away in the subway or behind some restaurant with a "C" grade.

So again, NY is not a bad city for rats, because the size of a rat, and how fat a rat bastard is is directly proportional to how good a city is to a rat bastard.

Rats are blue collared folks. Always working. But people are always trying to step on the little guys. Rats are good people.

CaliNative Oct 16, 2019 6:10 AM

San Diego
In recent years for the first time I have seen rats running around in many San Diego suburbs, especially around large apartments. They are everywhere. Even in good neighborhoods. But the most annoying pests are the little black Argentine ants. Certain times of the year you wake up and find them in black masses if you left any food out. Never had a rat in the house, although once we had mice. In Houston you have giant cockroaches, which are quite gross. Fortunately haven't seen them in SD. Even grosser are bedbugs, which are common in some cities. Fortunately as far as I know haven't been plagued with those yet. As far as pests go, the worst are mosquitoes. They can carry bad diseases. SD does have some, but not as bad as in more humid cities. I always carry a can off repellant with deet like "Off" when I take a late afternoon walk.

CaliNative Oct 16, 2019 6:21 AM

Are these rankings adjusted for city population?

Originally Posted by subterranean (Post 8718034)

For example, are NYC--L.A.-Chi at the top because they are 1-2-3 in population? The total number of treatments for rats needs to be divided by city/metro population to get a true measure of the infestation. Also, maybe Orkin is more active/dominant in some of the cities, so they would have more treatments there.

pj3000 Oct 16, 2019 10:15 AM

Thread title should be changed to “Best cities for rats”

pj3000 Oct 16, 2019 10:23 AM

And what’s with Hagerstown listed for DC??

Hagerstown is like 75 miles from DC... and likely not as nice of a place to live for rats.

CastleScott Oct 17, 2019 12:59 AM

Need some Colorado Bull snakes or California Kingsnakes to take care of those rat problems.

Sam Hill Oct 17, 2019 3:58 AM

The brown rat now lives exclusively among humans and can no longer be found in the wild. Despite this, they are one of the world's most abundant mammals. Their exact population isn't known, but it is certain their worldwide population easily exceeds human population. There are tens of billions of brown rats living within the world's cities.

The key to their success is the excess of food, water and shelter that can be found in urban areas, combined with their ability to rapidly reproduce. Females reach sexual maturity in only five weeks and have a gestation period of only 21 days. Since litters often number as much as a dozen, a single female can generate thousands of decendants in its first year of life.

Sorry. Watching PBS's "Wild Metropolis," and they just did a thing on rats. :D

kgbnsf Oct 18, 2019 9:46 PM

It's a little silly because it doesn't take into consideration the market share Orkin has in a given city.

Doug Oct 18, 2019 9:53 PM

Best cities in the world for rat haters: Calgary and Edmonton

tdawg Oct 18, 2019 11:37 PM

What we call the worst cities for rats are the best cities for rats, if you're a rat.

maru2501 Oct 19, 2019 3:35 PM

the pointy kitties in wicker park alleys in chi just do the squirrel pause or wave at you instead of running

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