These Cities Have the Worst Rat Problems in the Country

Some cities have more unwanted rodent neighbors than others.


Living in a big city, there are just some things you should expect. Those things are high rents, lots of people, and, well, a few rats. Some rats, like Pizza Rat, are fine. But rats can be a major issue in some cities. Thanks to a new study, we know which United States cities have it worse than others as far as rats are concerned.

The list comes courtesy of the pest control people at Orkin, who put it together using their internal rat-infestation stats. The company was able to determine the 50 cities where they’ve been called on the most residential and commercial rodent treatments in the last year.

This year, the rattiest city in the US award goes to... Chicago, and if you’ve been following the company’s reports over the years, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Orkin has named the Windy City the most rat-filled in the country for six consecutive years now. Before folks in Los Angeles, New York, or Washington, DC get too high and mighty, you should probably know those metro areas ranked second, third, and fourth on the list.

You can check out the full list here, and check out the top 25 rattiest cities ranked below:

25. Norfolk, Virginia
24. Milwaukee
23. Portland, Oregon
22. Cincinnati
21. New Orleans
20. Miami
19. San Diego
18. Pittsburgh
17. Houston
16. Dallas-Forth Worth
15. Indianapolis
14. Atlanta
13. Boston
12. Seattle
11. Cleveland
10. Minneapolis
9. Denver
8. Baltimore
7. Philadelphia
6. Detroit
5. San Francisco
4. Washington, DC
3. New York
2. Los Angeles
1. Chicago

Some of these cities may surprise you, others, like New York, may not. It’s worth noting that there’s been a shift in the list in recent years. Baltimore, for example, is new to the top 10 and San Diego rose 13 spots to No. 19 in the top 20. 

Orkin notes that the pandemic forcing restaurants to close contributed to rodent visibility, forcing rats to hit the road in search of new food sources. Don’t expect to see a drop in rat activity anytime soon either. According to Orkin’s study, rodent activity will likely increase as rats are forced to look for shelter, warmth, food, and water this winter. 
Watch where you’re walking out there. 

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Caitlyn Hitt is Daria IRL. Don't take our word for it -- find her on Twitter @nyltiaccc.