This Is the Most Rat-Infested City in America

Before we know it, the rat population may exceed the human population in this city.

No one is going to be bragging about taking the number one spot for the most rat-infested city. The yucky rodents can squeeze or chew their way through just about anything. We know what you’re thinking—you want to stay far, far away from these nasty creatures. The city you’ll want to be farthest from? Chicago.

For the sixth year in a row, Chicago has topped the list of the most rat-infested cities. According to Orkin, the Windy City had the highest number of rodent treatments in both residential and commercial properties from September 2014 to August 2020. Check out these exterminator nightmares that will make you cringe.

Rodents invade 21 million homes every winter, so even if you live on the West Coast (far away from Chicago), your city probably isn’t completely rat-free. The other rattiest cities that made the top five are Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. Here are 11 things mice don’t want you to know.

Rodents also hated the pandemic just as much as humans did in 2020. All of the restaurant closures forced them to find new sources of food. Many rats were seen scavenging new areas and showing signs of unusual and aggressive behavior. Rats trying to find food in homes and at businesses became so bad in some areas that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention put out Rodent Control guidance on how to keep rodents out.

To keep rats out of your home, make sure to seal off any holes or cracks that could lead indoors, including entryways. Also, be sure to tightly close and properly store all food containers and don’t leave crumbs out. You wouldn’t want to find one of these guys snacking on your leftovers. Once you take these steps to rat-proof your home, be sure to check for these 13 other things in your house that could be attracting pests right now.

Sources:

  • Orkin: “Rats! Chicago Tops Orkin’s Rattiest Cities List for Sixth Consecutive Time”
  • Pestworld.org: “Chilly Rodents Seek Cozy Homes This Winter”
  • CDC: “Rodent Control | COVID-19”

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Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She writes for rd.com, helps lead the editorial relationship with our partners, manages our year-round interns, and keeps the hundreds of pieces of content our team produces every month organized. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.