If you’ve lived in a large city, it’s not surprising to see the occasional rodent, especially in densely populated areas. Rodent problems have plagued cities (and their residents) for years, with some cities like NYC constantly battling persistent pests. While SF may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of the rattiest cities, many residents know the pain of keeping rodents away from the old Victorian homes.
Pest control company Orkin released its annual study ranking the top 50 rattiest cities in the United States. San Francisco not only made the top ten but was placed number 5. The ranking was based on the number of rodent control treatments performed in the cities, both for residential and commercial spaces. Orkin collected its data between September 1, 2022, and August 31, 2023.
This is the 9th consecutive year Orkin has done a ranking, and fellow West Coast city Los Angeles snagged 2nd place this year. San Francisco has maintained its spot at number 5 for the past several years and beats out many other major cities across the country.
Rats typically enter homes looking for warmth during the winter, making October through February the prime time for noticing them inside. It’s not unusual to spot rodents in San Francisco, but if you’re unfamiliar with the signs that there may be rats in your building, Orkin recommends looking for droppings, nests, and rub marks. Rodents are more active at night, so you may not actually see a rat, just the signs.
Orkin entomologist Ben Hottel stated, “Rats are capable of squeezing into spaces through holes as small as a quarter, which makes it especially important to seal cracks from the outside.” Orkin recommends storing food properly, sealing possible entry points, and decluttering both your home and yard to help prevent rats.
The top 10 rattiest cities include:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Washington, DC
- San Francisco
You can view the complete 2023 ranking here.