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Chicago Once Again Named Rattiest City In U.S. As Rahm Proposes Extra $1M To Fight Rodents

By Stephen Gossett in News on Oct 16, 2017 4:30PM

We're number one. Unfortunately. For the third consecutive year, Chicago has been named the rattiest city in the country by the pest-control folks at Orkin. The ranking was released just three days after Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration announced the mayor's budget proposal will include an additional $1 million investment to fund the seemingly eternal rodent battle.

Orkin's annual ranking is based on the number of treatment services performed by the company last year. "Commensal rodents depend on humans and their resources to survive, so unless residents and city officials take proactive steps to prevent rodents, infestations can easily get out of hand," said entomologist and Orkin Technical Services Director Ron Harrison in a release.

Emanuel's office, as mentioned, announced the city's latest salvo in the ongoing rodent struggle late last week. Rahm will propose an extra $1 million to help combat the rat problem, including five additional crews on the Bureau of Rodent Control, which would make 30 teams total for 2018. An extra $50,000 would go to buying thousands of new black garbage carts, which would replace ones that are riddled with holes and allow easy access for the critters.

"These critical investments in rodent control and garbage carts allow us to continue to provide the best possible service on behalf of residents," Emanuel said in a statement.

“The rodent battle will only benefit from the investment in garbage carts which helps ensure that residents can swap out any damaged carts for a new or refurbished one in a timely manner,” said Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles William in a release.

Rodent complaints in the early summer climbed about 9 percent from the same time last year.

The city announced in July that it would also bring back its dry-ice technique of fighting rats. The pilot project was suspended in 2016 because the rodenticide was not yet federally approved. It has since been cleared by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Top 10 rattiest cities in America, as named by Orkin were:
1) Chicago
2) New York
3) Los Angeles
4) San Francisco - Oakland
5) Washington, DC
6) Philadelphia
7) Detroit
8) Baltimore
9) Seattle - Tacoma
10) Dallas - Ft. Worth