Washington D.C. Among 'Rattiest' Cities; Rats Showing 'Aggressive Behavior'

By Jason Hall

October 25, 2021

Brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) sniffs on bread, Thuringia, Germany
Photo: Getty Images

Washington, D.C. was once again among the nation's "rattiest" cities, but that's only the beginning of its infestation problem.

Pest control company Orkin ranked Washington, D.C. fourth among its "2021 Rattiest Cities List," the same spot it held in 2020 on the annual list of 50.

That alone creates a problem for D.C. but, as was the case last year, Orkin points out that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to rodents "exhibiting unusual or aggressive behavior."

"During an unprecedented last year, the visibility of rodents increased, creating concern for homeowners and business owners alike," an Orkin press release stated. "The pandemic-driven closure of restaurants forced rodents to find new food sources. Without food waste to consume, these pests were seen scavenging new areas and exhibiting unusual or aggressive behavior. The presence of rodents became so relevant that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued Rodent Control guidance on ways to keep rats and mice out of homes and businesses."

Orkin's full list "2021 Rattiest Cities List" is included below:

  1. Chicago
  2. Los Angeles
  3. New York
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. San Francisco
  6. Baltimore (+2)
  7. Philadelphia
  8. Detroit (-2)
  9. Denver
  10. Cleveland, Oh. (+1)
  11. Seattle (+1)
  12. Minneapolis (-2)
  13. Boston
  14. Indianapolis (+1)
  15. Atlanta (-1)
  16. Pittsburgh (+2)
  17. San Diego (+2)
  18. Houston (-1)
  19. Cincinnati (+3)
  20. Dallas (-4)
  21. Hartford, Conn. (+6)
  22. Milwaukee (+2)
  23. Miami (-3)
  24. Portland, Or. (-1)
  25. Kansas City (+5)
  26. Columbus, Oh. (+2)
  27. Norfolk, Va. (-2)
  28. Richmond, Va. (+5)
  29. Sacramento (+7)
  30. St. Louis (+7)
  31. Albany, New York (+7)
  32. Grand Rapids (-3)
  33. New Orleans (-12)
  34. Flint, Mich. (+8)
  35. Raleigh, N.C. (-9)
  36. Nashville (-2)
  37. Champaign, Ill. (+2)
  38. Portland, Me. (+26)
  39. Burlington, Va. (+8)
  40. Louisville, Ky. (+13)
  41. Buffalo, New York
  42. Charlotte (-11)
  43. Phoenix (-11)
  44. Greenville, S.C. (-9)
  45. Green Bay
  46. Syracuse (-2)
  47. Charleston, W.V. (+4)
  48. Dayton (+1)
  49. Albuquerque (-1)
  50. Tampa (-9)
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