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Community / Public space

Chicago is the most rat-infested US city

People use all sorts of metrics to rank cities. They find the city with the happiest residents, say, or the most powerful financial district.

So, we guess, it was only a matter of time until a ranking appeared which names and shames the US’s “rattiest” cities. And it contains great news for Chicagoans.

The list was compiled by Orkin, a pest control firm (of course), and ranks cities based on how many rodents the firm “treated” (read: “killed”) in each urban area during 2013. In other words, there is at least some chance that it’s actually a ranking of Orkin’s regional marketing departments. It’s also not, as far as we can tell, per capita, so the big cities probably tend to have more rats because they’re, well, big. 

With those caveats out of the way, here’s the list:

1. Chicago                    
2. Los Angeles                          
3. Washington, D.C.-Hagerstown              
4. New York                                           
5. San Francisco-Oak-San Jose                
6. Seattle-Tacoma                               
7. Detroit                                               
8. Cleveland-Akron-Canton                     
9. Baltimore                                   
10. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale              

According to its website, Chicago’s city government operates a “very aggressive rodent control program”: that could mean more call-outs for pest companies, which could help skew the results. But stories like Fox News’ “Rats run rampant on Chicago streets, residents frustrated” in November 2013 suggests that the city does indeed have a rat problem. 

To add insult to injury, the city also topped Orkin’s bed bug ranking this year and last (that branch office is doing really well). All the same, we probably won’t be moving there anytime soon.


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