Houston gnaws into the 17th spot on 'Rattiest Cities' list

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Friday, October 16, 2020
Philly gnaws into No. 7 spot on 'Rattiest Cities' list
Aw rats! The city moved up three spots on Orkin's annual list.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston is ranking highly, but it isn't for diversity or food. It's for...rats.

The city is ranked No. 17 on pest control company Orkin's recently released rankings for America's "Rattiest Cities."

Chicago took the top spot for the sixth consecutive time, followed by Los Angeles and New York.

Orkin rated cities according to the number of new rodent treatments performed over the last year. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

"As reported in the spring, the pandemic-driven closure of restaurants forced rodents to find new food sources. Without food waste to consume, these pests were seen scavenging new areas and exhibiting unusual or aggressive behavior," the company said in a press release earlier this week.

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Here is how the top 10 looks:

1. Chicago

2. Los Angeles

3. New York

4. Washington, D.C.

5. San Francisco

6. Detroit

7. Philadelphia (+3)

8. Baltimore (+4)

9. Denver

10. Minneapolis (-2)

Orkin recommends the following tips to help prevent rats and mice in and around the home:

  • Do not leave out food. Small crumbs and garbage are popular food sources, as are dry goods such as grains and cereals. These should be kept in sealed metal or glass containers to prevent contamination.
  • Avoid cluttered spaces. Cardboard objects prove attractive to rodents, as they tend to chew them up for use in their nests. Take advantage of your extra time at home to clean and organize crowded spaces around the house.
  • Do not let the landscaping run wild. Tall grass with adequate harborages, such as woodpiles next to the house, can be ideal habitats for rodents. Tree branches in contact with homes can also offer rodents easy access to the upper levels of your home where they may find a way into the attic.
  • Inspect both inside and outside your home for rodent droppings, burrows and rub marks along baseboards and walls. The more quickly rodents are detected, the better.
  • Look for possible entry points outside your home and seal cracks and holes if any are found. Install weather strips around entryways, especially under doors, to help block rodents from sneaking inside.