Interior Pests

This U.S. City Tops Orkin’s List of the ‘Rattiest Cities’ for the 9th Year in a Row

Can you guess which city took the number one spot?
Sophie Kaemmerlé Avatar
Orkin Rattiest Cities


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Pest control company Orkin has released its yearly list of the most rat-infested cities in the United States, and Chicagoans, brace yourselves: your city took the top spot for the ninth year in a row.

Rounding out the top three are Los Angeles and New York, in the number two and number three spots respectively. Houston saw the biggest jump, climbing a whopping ten spots on the list and claiming 20th place this year.

Orkin used the number of new rodent services performed between September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2023 to determine the rattiest cities in America. Rats are most active in homes from October through February, when they typically look for food, shelter, and warmth.

Rats are a notoriously difficult pest to eradicate without the help of a professional, making the cost of hiring a rat exterminator a worthwhile investment. Snap traps, bait traps, peppermint-based repellents, and ultrasonic repellers are cited as DIY eradication methods in guides on getting rid of rats in the home and garden, but their effectiveness is debated. Rats are flexible and can fit into the tightest areas in and around the home, making knowing where to put traps difficult. They’re also considered highly intelligent and reproduce relatively quickly. These are just a few factors that can make the average homeowner unsuccessful at removing them—after all, even entire cities are finding this pest problem a difficult one to solve. New York City even has a ‘rat czar‘, a newly-minted government official whose sole responsibility is reducing the rat population. For the average person wanting to get rid of rats as fast as possible, hiring one of the best pest control companies such as Orkin is likely to be the best bet.

Orkin Rattiest Cities

Bob Vila readers also struggled with rats during the same period: roughly 26 percent of all pest control hires were made specifically for rodent removal* (a category that includes, but is not limited to rat extermination).

Homeowners with a suspected rat infestation can look out for some key signs:

  • Small, dark droppings near possible entry points.
  • Gnawed drywall.
  • Greasy streaks on the walls.
  • Sounds of scurrying behind walls.

A rat infestation is no joke, and for that and other pest problems, a pest control service might be the answer. Right now, customers can save $50 on their first recurring service with Orkin by using code GET50. Even when in doubt, it’s best to get a pro to examine the issue and advise on the best course of action.

* To determine the popularity of rodent extermination, we reviewed how our readers have engaged with our content covering this project from September 2022 through August 2023. We defined “popularity” by focusing on topics with a higher-than-average number of readers, clicks to our vetted and recommended professionals, and even direct bookings made through our links.