Rats! Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston Listed as Texas’ Rattiest Cities

National pest control company Orkin has a new list of the 50 shabbiest cities, and two cities in Texas made the list. Dallas-Fort Worth was in 16th place and Houston was just behind in 17th place.

Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York took first, second, and third place, respectively.

Orkin’s ranking is based on metropolitan areas where the greatest demand for rodent treatments was between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020.

The pandemic may be to blame for people seeing more pests because restaurants and rodents have to shut down to find new food sources, according to the pest control company.

“Rodents are experts at sniffing food and shelter, and they are resilient to obtaining both,” said Ben Hottel, an orkin entomologist in a press release. “Residential real estate is the ideal habitat for rodents and once they are established they can reproduce quickly and in large numbers.”

Rodents have oversized front teeth to chew on and can cause structural damage, Hottel said.

In addition to structural damage to homes, there are many health problems associated with rodents.

Orkin has tips for avoiding potential health and safety risks:

  • Don’t skip food. Small crumbs and trash are popular sources of food, as are dry goods like cereals and grains. These should be kept in sealed metal or glass containers to avoid contamination.
  • Avoid crowded rooms. Cardboard items prove attractive to rodents as they tend to chew them up for use in their nests. Use your extra time at home (if you have some) cleaning and organizing crowded spaces around the house.
  • Don’t let the landscape run wild. Tall grass or firewood stored next to the house can be an ideal habitat for rodents. Branches that come in contact with houses can also provide easy access for rodents to the upper levels of your home, where they may find a way into the attic.
  • Examine rodent droppings, burrows, and scuff marks on baseboards and walls both inside and outside your home. The faster rodents are recognized, the better.
  • Look for possible entry points outside your home and seal up any cracks and holes found. Install sealing strips around entrances, especially under doors, to prevent rodents from sneaking in.

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