North American city wins title of ‘most infested by rats’ for the 6th consecutive year

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Chicago is followed by Los Angeles, New York, Washington and San Francisco in the ranking of metropolitan regions with the most rodents.

Pest control company Orkin released this week the updated list of US cities most infested by mice. Chicago, Illinois, took first place for the sixth consecutive year.

Orkin ranked U.S. cities based on the number of new treatments for rodents from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020. Both residential and commercial treatments were considered.

Efforts to tame the rat population in large cities have been going on for years. The war on rodents in Chicago, for example, increased with the introduction of a new task force against rats in 2016. Residents even started adopting cats to crush their numbers, CNN says.

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Chicago Police Vehicle (archive)

Pandemic and mice

“Rodents are experts at sniffing food and shelter and are resilient in their ways of obtaining both […] Residential properties offer the ideal habitat for rodents and, once installed, are able to reproduce quickly and in large quantities, comments Ben Hottel, an entomologist at Orkin, in a statement.

With lockdowns, the availability of food for rodents has dropped dramatically, especially in dense commercial areas. “Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents look for new sources of food,” reads the website of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has a page dedicated to rodent control.

Finally, Orkin points out that the activity of the rats “will continue to increase” near the homes, as the rodents will begin to seek warm shelter to protect themselves from the cold during the North American winter.

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