5 Most Rat Infested Cities In America

5 Most Rat Infested Cities in America
5 Most Rat Infested Cities in America


1. Chicago, Illinois

Dubbed the “rat capital” of America, the abundance of garbage makes Chicago an ideal location for rats. The many buildings provide shelter for rats while they dine on excessive trash. Chicago’s primary species is the brown rat. This highly dominant species has edged out the black rat − which has moved on to the west coast. Brown rats are very good at swimming and climbing, making them even harder to eradicate. Brown rats live mostly in burrows and females can produce 8-12 litters a year, with the average size being 6-12 pups per litter. Females start reproducing at 2-3 months or less.


2. Los Angelos, California

Los Angeles continues to grow in population, and is experiencing overcrowding and as well homelessness, causing unsanitary conditions in parts of the city. The brown rat (aka Norway Rat) is a growing concern in the city, as cases of typhus are on the rise and parts of the city are experiencing an epidemic. People improperly disposing of food and other trash are contributing to the problem. It’s not only the low-income neighborhoods that deal with rat infestations. Rats are an ongoing problem in even the wealthiest parts of the city.


3. New York, New York

The dense population in New York City continues to be a leading cause of widespread rat infestations. The brown rat is the most prominent species in the region. Rats in New York City carry pathogens that can cause serious illness, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Leptospira. The abundance of trash on the streets, subways, restaurants and other businesses are a main factor in New York’s rat problem. Although rats are usually seen only at night, New York City rats have become quite bold and are commonly spotted in the daylight at parks, playgrounds, subway stations and many other areas of the city.


4. Washington, DC

Despite intense efforts to control the rat population in D.C., rodent complaints are at an all-time high. The city has tried dry ice, solar trash cans, and many other methods to combat the problem. Still, the rodent population continues to grow. As with many cities, the dense population in parts of the city are a contributor. Capitol Hill is among the neighborhoods with the highest rat complaints. In a 10-year span, the number of bars and restaurants has jumped at least 25%, contributing in food garbage and improper disposal of trash.


5. San Francisco, California

San Francisco residents are seeing more and more rats in their neighborhoods − and exterminators aren’t able to keep up. The demand is so great, many exterminators have a waiting list. Both roof rats and brown rats inhabit the city. Roof rats climb and live mostly above ground, while brown rats typically burrow or live in the sewers. As with most cities, a main culprit for rodent infestations is uncovered garbage. Vibrations caused by construction can also lead to broken underground pipes, allowing rats to enter. Residents have experienced rats entering homes through toilets, drains and other unlikely places.


Other Cities That Made the List

Detroit, Michigan
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cleveland, Ohio
Baltimore, Maryland
Denver, Colorado

Source: Information obtained from third-party sources and first-party trap sales data.

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