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Pest control company Orkin knows a thing or two about rats. I mean, they're one of the best known exterminator brands in America for a reason. These guys list everything from bed bugs to flies, and spiders to rodents on their list of enemies.

So when Orkin puts out their list of "Rattiest Cities" in America list, we pay attention.

Obviously this is a list about the actual rodent. They come up with their list based on the number of "new rodent treatments" performed in each metro area. This includes both residential and commercial, according to their posting.

Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images

On the 2021 list, Chicago is #1 for the 7th straight year. Other "usual suspects" land high on the list too. Including Los Angeles at 2, New York City at 3, and San Francisco at 5.

There are some surprises on there too. Honestly I've never thought of Denver as a big "rat" city, but they land at #9. San Diego is another city that doesn't feel like it has a "rat" reputation, but they're at #17. Others that shocked me were Hartford, CT (#21), Miami (#23), Nashville (#35), Grand Rapids, MI (#32), Burlington, VT (#39), Green Bay (#45), and Portland, ME (#38).

Louisiana had one city land in this year's Top 50, and it was New Orleans.

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NOLA came in at #33 on this year's list, which is actually better than last year. New Orleans actually had the biggest drop in the Top 50, going down 12 spots from last year's ranking at #25.

Based on the information included in Orkin's rankings, that's a pretty impressive move for New Orleans too. The company says that different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic was responsible for increased calls for rodent problems. Here's what they posted:

"During an unprecedented last year, the visibility of rodents increased, creating concern for homeowners and business owners alike. 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."

They even pointed to a report in Bloomberg that suggested rodent complaint calls surged over 80% in New York City in March of 2021.

So as other metros had an increasing rat problem, it appears New Orleans was improving.

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