Windy City topped the list of the toughest cities in the US for the sixth year in a row.
Orkin, an Atlanta-based pest control service, ranks U.S. cities based on the number of new treatments for rodents from September 1 to August 31 each year. The result is a list of 50 cities, with the most regions changing each time the list is updated. Chicago, however, is still # 1.
“Rodents are experts in food sniffing and shelter, and they are flexible in their methods of obtaining both,” Ben Hotel, an entomologist in Orkin, said in a company press release. “Residential properties provide an ideal habitat for rodents, and once they are stable, they are able to reproduce quickly and in large quantities.”
Efforts to tame rat populations have continued in the city for years. The “Chicago War on Mice” escalated with the introduction of a new rat task force in 2016. Residents even began adopting cats to crush their numbers.
Among the top ten on Orkin’s list were Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Denver and Minneapolis.
How the epidemic exacerbated the rat population
According to Orkin, statewide mandates to stay home and close businesses didn’t just affect residents.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an entire section on its website dedicated to rodent control.
According to the site, “the closures at the community level have led to a decrease in the food available for rodents, especially in dense commercial areas.” “Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food.”