SEATTLE -- Seattle has a rat problem.
Orkin, one of the nation's largest pest control companies, lists Seattle as the 6th "Rattiest City" in the nation.
Seattle ranks just better than San Francisco and just below Detroit in Orkin's Top 20 Rattiest Cities list, released today. The numbers were based on the amount of rodent treatments the company performed in 2013.
Chicago was ranked America's rattiest city.
According to a 2013 Orkin survey, one-third of Americans saw a rodent in their home in the last year. Rodents eat between 15 and 20 times a day, so nearly 40 percent of homeowners saw rodents for the first time in kitchens. Orkin warns that each fall, rats and mice invade an estimated 21 million American homes.
"Each city on this list is a major urban area that provides ideal conditions for rats and mice to thrive," said entomologist and Orkin Technical Services Director Ron Harrison, Ph. D.
Orkin reminds homeowners that it only takes a hole the size of a quarter for a rat to squeeze inside, and a hole the size of a dime for mice. And rodents are more than a nuisance; they also pose severe health threats. They can carry hundreds of pathogens that spread through their urine, droppings and bites.
The company recommends the following tips to help prevent rodents around the home:
Below is the list of the 20 Rattiest Cities in America: