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Orkin says Tampa Bay-area among most rat-infested

Here’s one national survey where it’s preferable not to be in the top 10 — or 20.

Fortunately, in Orkin’s Top 50 “rattiest” cities, Tampa/St. Petersburg only ranks No. 38, with the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area as the top Florida community, coming in at No. 18.

Experts at Orkin, the national pest control company, say the metro regions are ranked by the number of rodent treatments the company performed from September 15, 2016 — September 15, 2017. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

Chicago tops the list as the city with the most rats during the winter months, followed by New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington D.C.

“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.”

It’s not hard for rodents to get into a home or business, Kane added.

West Palm Beach is at No. 46, joining Orlando/Daytona Beach as the four Florida communities listed in the Orkin 50.

In July, a social media report of possible rodents in a West Palm Beach AMC movie theater showing the comedy “Girls Trip” went viral.

One of the people who shared the Facebook post told a reporter for WPTV-TV she saw half the people in the theater run out in fear. The woman said rodents had apparently run across the feet of people sitting in the front rows.

Orkin’s full list is here.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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