WASHINGTON - Pest control company Orkin has released its annual list of the top rattiest cities and Washington D.C. finished fifth in this year's rankings.
The nation's capital dropped down two spots from last year's list. Chicago took the top spot for the third consecutive year.
Orkin's rankings are based off the number of residential and commercial treatments it has performed during a one-year period from Sept. 15, 2016 to Sept. 15, 2017.
D.C. is no stranger to the pesky rodents. Over the last three fiscal years, the annual number of rat complaint calls to the city's 24-hour services request toll-free phone number has risen by over a thousand calls. In the 2017 fiscal year, D.C. received 3,286 calls about rats.
In June, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced abatement strategies aimed at doing a better job of controlling the rodent population.
Orkin has provided the following tips to help prevent rodents around the home:
- Inspect both inside and outside the 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 the home and seal cracks and holes if any are found. Think, "where would YOU hide or enter if you were a rodent?" It'll be hidden, dark, probably warm, and difficult to reach!
- Install weather strips around entryways, especially under doors, to help block rodents from sneaking inside.
- Store food properly by keeping it sealed tightly in rodent-proof containers like plastic bins or metal canisters. Otherwise, rodents may smell food and break into weaker containers.
- Clean up crumbs and spills as soon as they happen to avoid leaving food residue or sugary substances that can attract rodents.
- Cut back trees and bushes to at least three feet away from homes to avoid giving rodents a "jumping off" point to access the gutters, roof or other hidden openings.
Following Chicago on the top spot on the list are New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Detroit and Baltimore.