By Elizabeth Janney, Patch Staff | Oct 16, 2017 | 12:27 pm ET
BALTIMORE, MD – Charm City is among America's "Rattiest Cities," according to a new report from pest control company Orkin. Baltimore comes in at No. 8.
This the third year that Orkin 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.
Baltimore dropped two slots from last year, when it was ranked sixth. The city has undertaken several rat control measures recently, including the issuance of municipal garbage cans to contain waste.
Here are the 10 "Rattiest Cities" in the U.S., according to Orkin:
2. New York
3. Los Angeles
4. San Francisco – Oakland
5. Washington, DC
9. Seattle - Tacoma
10. Dallas - Fort Worth
Tips For Rat Control
Fall is the start of rodent season, according to Orkin. 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.