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CHICAGO – Ah rats!! Chicago is at the top of a list it would really rather not be on.

Orkin has released its list of the Top 50 Rattiest Cities and Chicago is number one for the eighth year in a row! Yes, you read that right, this is the eighth consecutive year Chicago has taken the top spot as the rat capital of America.

Orkin determined the rankings based on the number of new residential and commercial rodent treatments conducted between September 1, 2021, and August 31, 2022.

New York came in second behind Chicago, with Los Angeles finishing third, Washington, D.C. fourth and San Francisco ranked fifth. Two Indiana cities, South Bend and Fort Wayne, also made the list for the first time coming in at 44th and 48th respectively.

Between October and February Orkin estimates rats, mice and other rodents invade some 21 million homes in search of food, water and shelter from the cold.

The pests can spread a number of diseases such as hantavirus and salmonella, plus cause structural damage with their gnawing and burrowing.

Here are the common signs of a rodent infestation Orkin says homeowners should watch for:

  • Droppings: often left near places where food is stored such as a kitchen cabinets or pantries, under sinks, inside chewed cardboard boxes, and along baseboards.
  • Gnaw Marks: mice are known to bite through wires, walls and wood. Damaged wiring can increase the risk for a house fire.
  • Nests: House mice like to build nests so keep an eye for shredded paper, packing materials, cotton and other fabrics.
  • Rub marks: Rats usually follow a trail through the home from their nests to the food source and will leave dark grease or dirt marks along the floorboards and walls.
  • Strange noises: If you hear scurrying in the attic or walls it may mean a rodent is living there. They reportedly like attics for nesting.

Orkin says homeowners can take preventive measures to try and head off a possible invasion and they recommend the following:

  • Store away food: Store dry goods such as grains and cereals in sealed metal or glass containers to minimize crumbs.
  • Declutter: Clean and organize spaces and try to get rid of cardboard objects which rodents like to chew up and use in their nests.
  • Maintain landscaping: Keep tree branches from touching your house because they could give rodents access to upper levels of your home; also cut tall grass, trim bushes and reduce woodpiles next to your home.
  • Inspect both inside and outside your home:  Look for rodent droppings and burrows, plus rub marks along the baseboards and walls.
  • Look for possible entry points: Install weather strips around your entryway, and seal any cracks or holes around your home.

The complete list of the rattiest cities is below:

  • 1.  Chicago
  • 2.  New York
  • 3.  Los Angeles  
  • 4.  Washington, D.C.
  • 5.  San Francisco
  • 6.  Philadelphia
  • 7.  Baltimore
  • 8.  Cleveland, OH
  • 9.   Detroit
  • 10. Denver
  • 11. Seattle
  • 12. Minneapolis
  • 13. Boston  
  • 14. Atlanta
  • 15. Indianapolis
  • 16. Pittsburgh
  • 17. Cincinnati
  • 18. San Diego
  • 19. Hartford
  • 20. Miami  
  • 21. Milwaukee
  • 22. Houston
  • 23. Dallas
  • 24. Portland, OR
  • 25. Columbus, OH
  • 26. Richmond
  • 27.  Kansas City
  • 28.  Norfolk
  • 29.  Nashville
  • 30.  St. Louis
  • 31.  Grand Rapids
  • 32.  Raleigh
  • 33.  Champaign  
  • 34.  Albany
  • 35.  Louisville
  • 36.  Sacramento
  • 37.  New Orleans
  • 38.  Charlotte
  • 39.  Buffalo
  • 40.  Flint
  • 41.  Greenville
  • 42.  Syracuse
  • 43.  Tampa  
  • 44.  South Bend
  • 45.  Portland
  • 46.  Phoenix
  • 47.  Charleston
  • 48.  Ft. Wayne
  • 49.  Orlando  
  • 50.  Burlington