DC Is Really Rat-Infested, Here’s Where It Ranks Nationally

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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Exterminators have ranked Washington, D.C., the third most rat-infested city in America, trailing behind Chicago and New York.

Orkin, the popular pest extermination company, releases an annual list chronicling the cities where rats thrive. Orkin bases their annual rankings on internal data on calls to treat rodent infestations and releases them in October, when rodents start to seek shelter from colder temperatures.

Orkin looked at rodent treatments carried out between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016 and found that the District ranks third for rat infestations, reports WTOP.

“Fall evenings as mild as those in the mid-50s can send rodents indoors to search for warmth, where they can cause hundreds of dollars in damages to homes and businesses,” John Kane, entomologist and technical director at Orkin said in a release. “Rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, while mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime making it crucial to prepare for rodent season, whether or not your city made the list.”

Orkin has ranked D.C. in their third spot for several years, sometimes actually beating out New York City. Roughly one third of Americans report seeing a rat in their home each year, making rat infestations a problem outside of cities as well, reports WJLA.

Rounding out the top five were Los Angeles and San Francisco. Baltimore and Philadelphia also ranked high for rat infestations. Orkin warns that infestations should be taken seriously due to the many pathogens rats spread. They are known to carry neurological and respiratory diseases and can spread ticks and mites.

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