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Rats! Tampa still on Orkin’s list of rattiest cities

The city drops to 50th in rankings of metro regions with most rodent treatments. Miami drops to 23rd.
A list you'd rather not be on: Tampa came in at No. 50 on Orkin's annual list of the Top 50 Rattiest Cities.
A list you'd rather not be on: Tampa came in at No. 50 on Orkin's annual list of the Top 50 Rattiest Cities.
Published Oct. 24, 2021|Updated Oct. 24, 2021

There is one scenario where droppings involving rats are a good thing.

Tampa dropped nine spots to 50th, and Miami dropped three spots to 23rd in Orkin’s Top 50 Rattiest Cities List, the pest control company revealed on its website.

Metro regions were ranked by the number of new rodent treatments — both residential and commercial — performed from Sept. 15, 2020, to Sept. 15, 2021.

Chicago has nested in the top spot for seven consecutive years, according to

In fact, the top five cities stayed glued in place this year, with Los Angeles second, New York third, Washington, D.C., fourth and San Francisco fifth.

Baltimore fell to sixth, Philadelphia was trapped at seventh, Detroit slipped to eighth and Denver remained ninth.

Cleveland, one of four Ohio cities on the list, crawled into the top 10 at 10th, followed by Cincinnati at 19th, Columbus at 26th and Dayton — which made it by a whisker — at 48th.

The state of New York burrowed three other entries in near the tail end of the rankings: Albany at 31st, Buffalo at 41st and Syracuse at 46th.

Atlanta, where Orkin is based, found a home at 15th place on the list of rattiest cities. Rodents up the road in the Carolinas put Raleigh, N.C., at 35th, Charlotte, N.C., at 42nd and Greenville, S.C., at 44th.

Two new cities found openings in the top 50 — Portland, Maine, at 38th, and Louisville, Ky., at 40th.

Orkin said when restaurants were closed during the pandemic, rodents were forced to find new food sources, causing them to scavenge new areas and resulting in aggressive behavior. The company added that the presence of rodents became so prevalent that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued rodent control guidance on ways to keep rats out of homes and businesses.

“As people resume normal activities, food availability will rise,” Orkin entomologist Ben Hottel said on “Rodents are experts at sniffing out food and shelter, and they’re resilient in their ways to obtain both.

Orkin recommends the following tips to help prevent rodents — which present health and safety risks — in and around the home: Keep food stored away, clear out the clutter, do not let landscaping run wild, inspect inside and outside the home, and look for possible entry points.

“After a year of depleted resources, residential properties offer the ideal habitat for rodents,” Hottel added, “and once they’ve settled in, they’re capable of reproducing rapidly and in large quantities.”


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