Central Florida and South Florida cities are on Orkin’s Top 50 Rattiest Cities list.
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale ranked 20th in the nation, followed by Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne in 39th place, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota coming in at 40th.
Chicago was ranked the #1 rattiest city in the U.S. for the fifth consecutive year (see full list below).
“Unfortunately, residential properties offer the ideal habitat for rodents because of access to food and water sources, potential entry points and hiding places,” said Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist.
“A rat can squeeze through an opening as small as a quarter, while a mouse can wedge its way into a hole smaller than a dime.”
“Beyond structural damage, there are multiple health issues associated with rodents including food poisoning, rat-bite fever, hantavirus, and even the bubonic plague,” Hartzer added.
In Florida, rats can carry rat-lungworm disease which can be deadly to humans.
To help people avoid the potential health and safety risks associated with rodents, Orkin recommends the following tips to help prevent rats and mice in and around the home:
- Inspect both inside and outside the 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 the 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.
- Clean up crumbs and spills as soon as they happen to avoid leaving food residue or sugary substances that can attract rodents. Store food properly by keeping it sealed tightly in rodent-proof containers like plastic bins or metal canisters. Otherwise, rodents may smell food and break into weaker containers.
- Cut back trees and bushes to at least three feet away from homes to avoid giving rodents a “jumping off” point to access the gutters, roof or other hidden openings.
TOP 50 RATTIEST CITIES
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Washington, DC (Hagerstown)
- San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
- Cleveland-Akron (Canton) (+1)
- Minneapolis-St. Paul (+3)
- Philadelphia (-2)
- Atlanta (+5)
- Denver (-1)
- Baltimore (-3)
- Seattle-Tacoma (+1)
- Boston (Manchester) (-1)
- Dallas-Ft. Worth (-3)
- Houston (+6)
- Milwaukee (+3)
- Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (-3)
- Columbus, OH (+4)
- Portland, OR (+2)
- Cincinnati (-3)
- Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville) (+3)
- Hartford & New Haven (-7)
- Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News (+4)
- New Orleans (+2)
- Richmond-Petersburg (+3)
- Charlotte (-7)
- Grand Rapids-Kalmazoo-Battle Creek (+9)
- St. Louis (+5)
- Buffalo (-4)
- Nashville (+1)
- San Diego (-9)
- Champaign & Springfield-Decatur (+8)
- Kansas City (-4)
- Phoenix (Prescott) (-2)
- Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne (+2)
- Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota) (+2)
- Syracuse (+5)
- Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto (-5)
- Charleston-Huntington (-4)
- Ft. Wayne (+4)
- Portland-Auburn (+15)
- Flint-Saginaw-Bay City (-11)
- Albany-Schenectady-Troy (-15)
- Burlington-Plattsburgh (-6)
- Madison (+1)