As autumn has officially begun and the weather begins to cool, Terminix has ranked the top 50 most rodent-infested cities in America.

top rodent cities infographic

Terminix ranked the top 50 most rodent-infested cities in advance of Rodent Awareness Week, which runs from October 17-23. As designated by the National Pest Management Association, Rodent Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about rodents by promoting public knowledge of the pests and the dangers they can present to home and health.

Where are Rodents Most Common?

The City of Angels came in at number one, followed by New York City at number two, Philadelphia at number three, San Francisco at number four, and Dallas-Ft. Worth at number five. The state of Florida had the most cities on the list with six cities, followed by California with five cities

Terminix based the rankings on the number of requests received for help with rats and/or mice from each city over the past year*. The top 50 cities for rodent infestations in the United States are:

  1. Los Angeles, Calif.
  2. New York, N.Y.
  3. Philadelphia, Pa.
  4. San Francisco, Calif.
  5. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
  6. Chicago, Ill.
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Houston, Texas
  9. Atlanta, Ga.
  10. Boston, Mass.
  11. Detroit, Mich.
  12. Baltimore, Md.
  13. Cleveland, Ohio
  14. Tampa, Fla.
  15. Orlando, Fla.
  16. Memphis, Tenn.
  17. Seattle, Wash.
  18. Sacramento, Calif.
  19. Cincinnati, Ohio
  20. Denver, Colo.
  21. Hartford, Conn.
  22. Columbus, Ohio
  23. Miami, Fla.
  24. Pittsburgh, Pa.
  25. Indianapolis, Ind.
  26. San Diego, Calif.
  27. Minneapolis, Minn.
  28. Little Rock, Ark.
  29. Phoenix, Ariz.
  30. San Antonio, Texas
  31. West Palm Beach, Fla.
  32. St. Louis, Mo.
  33. Nashville, Tenn.
  34. Birmingham, Ala.
  35. Honolulu, Hawaii
  36. Austin, Texas
  37. Louisville, Ky.
  38. Mobile, Ala.
  39. Albany, N.Y.
  40. Milwaukee, Wis.
  41. Fresno, Calif.
  42. Providence, R.I.
  43. Portland, Ore.
  44. Jacksonville, Fla.
  45. Kansas City, Mo.
  46. Oklahoma City, Okla.
  47. Shreveport, La.
  48. Harrisburg, Pa.
  49. Chattanooga, Tenn.
  50. Ft. Myers, Fla.

What Can Rodents Do to Homes?

As the seasons change and lower temperatures are just around the corner, rats and mice will be looking for warm, safe places to live, including houses. These unwelcome guests can cause extensive damage to homes. Mice can fit through an opening as small as one-quarter of an inch wide, which is about the width of a pencil. Once inside the home, rodents can:

  1. Gnaw on and scratch household items, including furniture, books, clothing, carpets and items that hold significant sentimental value.
  2. Scavenge food and gnaw through food storage containers in cabinets and pantry areas.
  3. Eat from pet bowls and chew through pet food boxes and bags. Gnaw on electrical wiring, which can cause appliance failures or spark a fire.
  4. Chew through insulation in walls and attics.
  5. Make nests in walls, attics and airducts, creating unpleasant odors that can fill adjacent rooms.

But rats and mice can be much more than a mere nuisance. More importantly, these pests can also pose a serious threat to public health by spreading germs that cause diseases. With their urine and droppings, rodents can contaminate food items, linens, clothing and other areas of the home. If left untreated, a rodent infestation can lead to the spread of germs that cause diseases like hantavirus, rat bite fever, and salmonellosis, among others.

What are Some Signs of a Rodent Infestation?

Although rats and mice can sometimes live in the home undetected, there are some tell-tale signs homeowners can look out for. Common signs of a rodent infestation include:

  1. Small droppings in the home, including the back of drawers and cabinets, and on the floor along walls
  2. Holes or gnaw marks in food packaging
  3. Chewed wires or materials
  4. Urine stains on shelves and in the back of drawers and cabinets
  5. Footprints and tail-drags in dust or any other powder
  6. Nesting materials (paper, cardboard, insulation, other fibrous materials)
  7. Scratching or thumping in walls

When to Contact a Rodent Control Professional

Terminix understands the biology and behavior of these pests, which can damage homes and potentially spread germs that cause diseases. If you think you might have a rodent infestation, contact a rodent control professional today.

*This ranking was created by compiling rodent-specific data from Terminix branches across the country. The rankings represent Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) with the most leads received between September 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021.