This Is the Most Rat-Infested City in America


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 seventh 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 15, 2020 to September 15, 2021.

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—none of which budged from their rankings last year. Here are 11 things mice don’t want you to know.

Rodents also hated the pandemic just as much as humans did. All of the restaurant closures forced them to find new sources of food, while outdoor dining proved to be another source of rats’ new diets. Rats trying to find food in homes and at businesses became so bad in some areas in 2020 and 2021 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.


  • Orkin: “The Rat Pack: Former Top Five Cities Remain Leaders on Orkin’s 2021 Rattiest Cities List”
  • “Chilly Rodents Seek Cozy Homes This Winter”
  • CDC: “Rodent Control | COVID-19”

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