Atlanta Is Among Orkin's 2021 Rattiest Cities
"For the seventh year, Chicago kept its dubious title as the "rattiest" U.S. city. Here's where the pest control company ranks Atlanta.
ATLANTA — Atlanta is known for a lot of great things. The Civil Rights Movement, the nation's busiest airport, significant contributions to Hip Hop culture, a flourishing film industry, and now, the Atlanta Braves' appearance in the World Series.
One thing Atlanta residents may not want to be known for, however, is the overwhelming number of rats creeping through our streets and backyards.
Nevertheless, that's exactly the case, according to a new ranking released Friday by pest control company Orkin. In fact, Atlanta was ranked No. 15 on this year's list of the Top 50 "Rattiest" Cities.
If you want to hold off on bragging, we understand, but here's how Orkin comes up with the list: Each year, the company ranks metro areas based on the number of new rodent treatments performed from Sept. 15 of the previous year to Sept. 15 of the current year. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.
The company came to one conclusion: The number of rats in city streets surged in 2020.
"The pandemic-driven closure of restaurants forced rodents to find new food sources," Orkin said in a news release. "Without food waste to consume, these pests were seen scavenging new areas and exhibiting unusual or aggressive behavior."
As life slowly returned to normal following the end of business closures and pandemic lockdowns, food and water sources were replenished for rodents. In New York City alone, the number of rodent complaints made to the city in March 2021 surged by 80 percent, Bloomberg reported.
At one point, the presence of rodents became so noticeable the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued rodent control guidance on ways to keep rats and mice out of homes and businesses, according to Orkin.
Still, the top five rattiest cities did not change from 2020, according to this year's list.
Chicago took the top spot for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.
Breaking into the top 10 this year is Cleveland, which took the 10th spot. Baltimore also inched closer to the top five, moving up two spots to No. 6.
See Orkin's full list of rattiest cities.
While rats can cause significant structural damage and pose many health risks to humans, there are ways to keep mice and rats out of your home, according to Orkin:
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, which tend to chew them up for use in nests. Take advantage of any 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 wood piles 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."