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US Cities with the Most Rats

By: EarthKind


Everybody loves a trending data-filled list, and we found a list that’s released each year that we just can’t ignore here at EarthKind! 

The pest control professionals at Orkin continuously keep tabs of all the calls they receive each year and tally up the results to put together a rattiest cities list.They share the top 50 US cities with the most requests for rodent control treatments. The Windy City has topped the list again in 2023, making it the 9th year in a row that Chicago has been #1 on Orkin’s list. 

Here are the other most rat-infested cities in America currently taking up the top 10 positions of their list: 

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

You can read Orkin’s full list here

Why are Rats Attracted to City Living?

Cities are ideal stomping grounds for rats and mice due to a combination of factors that create ideal living conditions for them. Rodents are classified as commensal pests, meaning they share the same food as we do, and cities provide an abundance of food sources for rats. The large amount of restaurant, market, and household waste generates a continuous supply of food scraps, which is easily accessible to these rodents. The high human population in cities inadvertently leads to more litter and poorly managed trash as well which leads to a higher rat population. 

Another reason is the dense urban infrastructure. This offers ample shelter and nesting opportunities for rats and mice. These pests find refuge in a city’s complex network of sewers, subways, and buildings, which also serve as pathways for them to travel and colonize new areas.

Cities also tend to be warmer than rural areas due to human activities and the concentration of buildings and roads. This warmer environment is beneficial for rats, as they prefer warmer habitats and it aids in their survival during colder seasons. 

These combined factors make big cities not just habitable, but ideal environments for rats to live, thrive, and multiply.

How to Control Rodents in Cities

Rodent control can be especially challenging in a city because even if you have excellent habits such as cleaning up food crumbs or spills quickly and disposing of scraps in a covered trash can, your neighbors may not.

The best way to control the issue is to do your part in preventing a rat problem before it begins. Pest control companies and DIYers alike need to take the steps to prevent rodents as a key part of their pest control plan. 

Rodents sightings happen most in the fall and winter when the weather starts to turn cold. Rats and mice are able to enter buildings through extremely small openings making sealing potential entry points in a home or business is a critical step in prevention. This will not only keep rodents and their droppings away from your space, but it will help keep heat in which can lower your electric bill. Inspect doors, windows, foundations, chimneys and dryer vents to make sure everything is in good repair with no cracks or holes. Use a wire or mesh grate to cover chimney tops and dryer vents. Fill any cracks or holes with steel wool and silicone caulk.

Cleaning up rodent attractants is another important step for rodent control. Make sure food scraps are promptly disposed of in covered trash cans or compost containers. Store dry goods in chew proof, air tight containers. Instead of leaving pet food and water sitting out all the time, only put out enough for one feeding at a time and clean dishes after each use.

If the problem is big enough, there may be city-wide rodent treatment plans that get put into place to combat the issue.  

EarthKind for Household Prevention

The best defense against a rodent infestation is to use a botanical rodent repellent like Stay Away® Rodent. An existing infestation can be cleared out by placing Stay Away pouches as often as one pouch per eight square feet of floor space and replacing the pouches every 30 days. 

To prevent rodent problems, simply place one pouch for every 125 square feet. The scent lasts up to 90 days. Shop online or find EarthKind pouches in a store near you

Get rid of rodents with Stay Away Rodent Repellent