The Top 25 Rat-Infested Cities

I can’t remember one person that I’ve met that has ever liked rats. All the while growing up we would make fun of people who we thought had rats. We would try to rid our own place of the rodents and tried to keep as far away as possible from those furry creatures.

Now, that we’re grown up, we are still trying to stay as far away as possible and we can do that now with a newly published list of the most rat-infested cities.

A new study has named Chicago the “rat capital” of America, with a total of 50,963 rat complaints in 2017 compared to 32,855 in 2014, an increase of 55%. The study, by apartment search service RentHop.com, compared complaints in the Windy City, Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C., and found that Chicago topped the list with 1,876.09 complaints per 100,000 residents, a figure more than twice the number of the nation’s capital, which came in second place.

Chicago beat out New York’s 19,152 complaints by more than 31,000.

“The abundance of garbage and buildings in The Windy City makes it a great location for these rats to seek shelter and food for survival,” according to RentHop, which has a large presence in the four cities. “The presence of these furry critters poses a threat to city dwellers due to the fact that they are capable of spreading diseases and cause allergic reactions to humans and animals.”

Rat-bite fever (RBF) is an infectious disease that can be caused by two different bacteria. Streptobacillary RBF is caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis in North America while spirillary RBF or sodoku is caused by Spirillum minus. People usually get the disease from infected rodents or consumption of contaminated food or water. When the latter occurs, the disease is often known as Haverhill fever. If not treated, Rat Bite fever can be a serious or even fatal disease.

Another thing to worry about with rats is the Salmonella germ. It is a group of bacteria that can cause diarrheal illness in humans. They are microscopic living creatures that pass from the feces of people or animals, to other people or other animals. Animals can carry this germ and not appear to be ill. Rodents, like rats, may spread Salmonella to people.

According to Orkin, here is the breakdown of the top 25 rat cities:

1. Chicago
2. New York
3. Los Angeles
4. San Francisco – Oakland