ICYMI: Charlotte Makes ‘Rattiest City’ List

CHARLOTTE, NC — The Queen City has made the list of “rattiest cities,” coming in as No. 28 in the U.S., one spot lower than it ranked last year, according to a new report issued today by pest control company Orkin.

This the third year that the pest control company has compiled the rankings, which are based on the number of rodent treatments the company performed from Sept. 15, 2016 to Sept. 15, 2017. It includes residential and commercial treatments.

Charlotte is not the only North Carolina city to make Orkin’s list. Raleigh-Durham, which last year was No. 22, has improved to No. 33 on the list this year.

Here are the Top 5 "Rattiest Cities":

Chicago New York Los Angeles San Francisco – Oakland Washington, DC

And, in case you’re wondering, Atlanta, where Orkin is based, also made the list at No. 14, up two spots from last year’s ranking.

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Fall is the start of rodent season, according to the pest control company. As the weather gets colder, rats and mice seek out food, water and shelter to survive the winter. According to the National Pest Management Association, more than 20 million rodents invade homes each year.

“Rats and mice begin looking for warmer, more insulated places to get through the winter, and these too often happen to be our homes or businesses,” said John Kane, entomologist and technical director of Orkin’s Midwest Region. “Rodents like to chew on wood and electrical wires, increasing the fire danger behind your walls and potentially damage to your home.”

Rodents can contaminate food and transmit pathogens through urine, feces and bites that affect health. Kane added it’s not hard for rodents to get inside a home or business. Rats can enter through a hole the diameter of a quarter while mice can enter through a hole the diameter of a dime.

Orkin provided these tips to help people avoid the health and safety risks because of rat and mice infestations:

Inspect both inside and outside the home for rodent droppings, burrows and rub marks along baseboards and walls. The sooner they’re detected, the easier the problem is to manage. Look for possible entry points outside the home and seal cracks and holes if any are found. 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. 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.

Patch Editor Jeff Staklin contributed to this article.

File photo by Richard Drew/Associated Press

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