Three Michigan cities have been ranked among America’s most rat-infested cities.
Orkin released their annual list of the 50 most rat-infested cities in the country, with Chicago taking the top spot for the eighth straight year. Congrats, Chicago!
New York beat out Los Angeles for the No. 2 ranking and entering the top 20 this year is Hartford, CT, taking the No. 19 spot, and Miami, rising three spots to secure the No. 20 spot.
Meanwhile, in Michigan, the three cities on the list were: Detroit, Grand Rapids and Flint.
The good news is -- Detroit dropped from No. 8 to No. 9 this year -- that’s a win! Cleveland moved into the No. 8 spot, which is much more fitting for Ohio.
Grand Rapids moved up one spot to No. 31, and Flint dropped six spots on the list, down to No. 40.
Beyond health issues, rodents can cause severe structural damage with their strong jaws and burrowing skills. They have oversized front teeth for gnawing, and teeth which are adapted for chewing a variety of items including electrical wires, water pipes and gas lines.
Because of the threats that rodents pose, it’s important for homeowners to know how to spot an issue in order to take a proactive approach in eliminating them from their homes. A few common signs of a rodent infestation include, from Orkin:
- Droppings: Rodent droppings are often left behind in places where food is stored, such as kitchen cabinets or pantries, under sinks, inside chewed cardboard boxes, along baseboards and on top of wall beams
- Gnaw marks: Mice are known to bite through walls, wood and wires. The damage to wiring within walls can increase the risk for a house fire.
- Nests: Rodents prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas where there is little chance of disturbance. Be on the lookout for shredded paper products, cotton, packing materials and other fabrics, as house mice like to build nests out of these materials.
- Rub marks: Rats tend to leave dark grease or dirt marks along walls and floorboards as they follow a trail throughout the home between their nest and food.
- Strange noises: Scurrying in the walls or in the attic could mean a rodent family is present. Rodents are especially fond of attics as it’s an insulated area for nest building.
The good news is homeowners can help prevent infestation troubles by taking a proactive approach in eliminating entryways into their home. To help residents avoid the potential health and safety risks associated with rodents, Orkin recommends the following tips:
- Store away food. Small crumbs and garbage are popular food sources, as are dry goods such as grains and cereals. These should be kept in sealed metal or glass containers to prevent contamination.
- Declutter. Cardboard objects prove attractive to rodents, as they tend to chew them up for use in their nests. Take advantage of your extra time at home to clean and organize crowded spaces around the house.
- Maintain your landscaping. Tall grass with adequate harborages, such as woodpiles next to the house, can be ideal habitats for rodents. Tree branches in contact with homes can also offer rodents easy access to the upper levels of your home where they may find a way into the attic.
- Inspect both inside and outside your home. Keep an eye out for rodent droppings, burrows and rub marks along baseboards and walls. The sooner rodents are detected, the better.
- Look for possible entry points. Seal any holes and cracks that are found around your home. Install weather strips around entryways, especially under doors, to help keep mice out of your home.