National pest control company Orkin has a new Top 50 Rattiest Cities List, and two Texas cities have made the list. Dallas-Fort Worth ranked 16th, and Houston was right behind in the 17th spot.
Chicago, Los Angeles and New York took first, second and third place, respectively.
Orkin’s ranking is based on metro areas that have had the most demand for rodent treatments between Sept. 1, 2019 and Aug. 31, 2020.
The pandemic can be to blame for people seeing more pests because of the closure of restaurants and rodents needing to find new sources for food, according to the pest control company.
“Rodents are experts at sniffing out food and shelter, and they’re resilient in their ways to obtain both,” said Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist in a press release. “Residential properties offer the ideal habitat for rodents, and once they’ve settled in, they’re capable of reproducing rapidly and in large quantities.”
Rodents have oversized front teeth for gnawing and can cause structural damage, said Hottel.
Along with structural damage to homes, there are many health issues associated with rodents.
Orkin has tips for avoiding potential health and safety risks:
- Do not leave out food. Small crumbs and garbage are popular food sources, as are dry goods such as grains and cereals. These should be kept in sealed metal or glass containers to prevent contamination.
- Avoid cluttered spaces. Cardboard objects prove attractive to rodents, as they tend to chew them up for use in their nests. Take advantage of your extra time at home (if you have some) to clean and organize crowded spaces around the house.
- Do not let the landscaping run wild. Tall grass or firewood stored next to the house can be ideal habitats for rodents. Tree branches in contact with homes can also offer rodents easy access to the upper levels of your home, where they may find a way into the attic.
- Inspect both inside and outside your 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 your 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.