CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago has been ranked the country’s rattiest city for the fifth straight year, according to a report by Orkin.
The report ranked its top 50 rattiest cities, with second and third places going to Los Angeles and New York respectively.
Regions were ranked by the number of new rodent treatments performed from September 2018 to September 2019, according to Orkin.
As winter approaches, rodents and pests seek warmer areas and head indoors. According to the National Pest Management Association, 24% of homeowners report mice infestations specifically in winter.
“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.”
The most common rodent pests in the United States are the house mouse, the Norway rat and the roof rat, according to Orkin.
Orkin recommends the following steps to help prevent rats and mice in 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.