Detroit 6th worst city for rats, pest company says

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

It's no accident Detroiters smell a rat, a national pest control company says.

Atlanta-based Orkin said Tuesday Detroit is the United States' sixth worst city for rats.

The company released its rankings of the top 50 American cities for rats and Detroit held steady in sixth place. The survey is based on the number of new residential and commercial treatments for rats Orkin performed between Sept. 15, 2018 and Sept. 15, 2019.

The most common rodent pests in the United States are the house mouse, the Norway rat and the roof rat.

More: Orkin: Metro Detroit 6th worst area for rats

"Beyond structural damage, there are multiple health issues associated with rodents including food poisoning, rat-bite fever, hantavirus and even the bubonic plague," Chelle Hartzer, Orkin entomologist, said in a statement. "Rodents can easily spread diseases in a home or commercial site in a short period of time."

Chicago claimed the list's top spot for the five consecutive year, it said. It was followed by Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Cleveland moved up a spot in the annual survey to seventh place. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia and Atlanta rounded out the top 10.

The biggest changes in the survey were seen in Albany, New York and Grand Rapids, Mich. Albany, which came in 47th this year, fell 15 spots in the survey. Grand Rapids, No. 30 this year, rose nine spots.

Orkin said as the weather gets colder, rodents become more active as they seek shelter in warm areas that have food and water.

Founded in 1901, Orkin has more than 400 locations with almost 8,000 employees in the U.S. and serves about 1.7 million homeowners and businesses in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez