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Chicago is the 'rattiest city' in America for the sixth year in a row

A cat shelter in Chicago is selling groups of feral cats for up to $600 to combat Chicago's rat problem, which is believed to be the worst in the country.

Posted: Oct 29, 2020 3:21 AM
Updated: Oct 29, 2020 3:21 AM

Chicago is the six-time holder of a title that no city wants.

The Windy City has topped the list of the rattiest cities in the United States for the sixth year in a row.

Orkin, an Atlanta-based pest control service, ranks US cities based on the number of new rodent treatments from September 1 to August 31 of each year. The result is a list of 50 cities, with most changing spots each time the list is updated. Chicago, however, is still No. 1.

"Rodents are experts at sniffing out food and shelter, and they're resilient in their ways to obtain both," Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist, said in the company's press release. "Residential properties offer the ideal habitat for rodents, and once they've settled in, they're capable of reproducing rapidly and in large quantities."

Efforts to tame the city's rat population have been going on for years. Chicago's "war on rats" escalated with the introduction of a new rat task force back in 2016. Residents had even begun adopting cats to squash their numbers.

Rounding out the top 10 on Orkin's list were Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Denver and Minneapolis.

How the pandemic has exacerbated rat populations

Statewide mandates to stay at home and close businesses haven't just affected the human population, according to Orkin.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an entire section on its website devoted to rodent control.

"Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas," according to the website. "Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food."

And Orkin warns that rat activity "will only continue increasing" as rodents began seeking warm shelter as the months get colder.

Chicago may not be the only city in trouble. Rankings for other cities on Orkin's "rattiest cities" list can be found on the company's website.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 923648

Reported Deaths: 17559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3050707044
Riverside675521306
San Bernardino641311073
Orange594421468
San Diego55898885
Kern34114420
Fresno31195439
Sacramento25882499
Santa Clara24665404
Alameda23636463
San Joaquin21988492
Contra Costa18877243
Stanislaus17814400
Tulare17730291
Ventura14409166
Imperial13023338
San Francisco12277145
Monterey1153892
San Mateo11278159
Santa Barbara9886126
Sonoma9601136
Merced9588155
Kings848683
Solano758676
Marin7107127
Madera506676
Placer429059
San Luis Obispo424032
Yolo325060
Butte313453
Santa Cruz284825
Shasta199931
Napa199816
Sutter188912
San Benito144915
El Dorado13684
Yuba133810
Mendocino115421
Tehama9219
Lassen7711
Lake70216
Glenn6793
Nevada6328
Humboldt56910
Colusa5536
Calaveras34721
Amador33716
Tuolumne2855
Inyo24015
Siskiyou2140
Mono1822
Del Norte1801
Mariposa812
Plumas760
Modoc450
Trinity280
Sierra60
Alpine40
Unassigned00
Chico
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Oroville
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Paradise
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Chester
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We're closing out the month of October on a beautiful note weather-wise over northern California with plenty of sunshine and above-average temperatures. Halloween will bring slightly warmer temperatures and more sunshine.
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