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Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex surpasses Houston in a ‘rat race’ no one wants to win AP Photo/Robert Mecea, File

According to an annual report released by the pest control company, Orkin, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is among the top ten cities in America for the number of rodent exterminations. It also outranks cities in Texas, with Houston and San Antonio far behind in the national rankings.

The annual report compiles data on rodent treatments the company performed from Sept. 15, 2016 to Sept. 15, 2017. Chicago took first place nationwide for the third consecutive year, with New York City taking second, followed by Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C., rounding out the top five.

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Dallas also saw one of the biggest jumps in the rankings, from #14 in the 2016 rankings to #10 this year. San Antonio reached the top 50 for the first time this year at #37. Houston moved up one spot from last year, from #21 to #20.

“Fall is the start of rodent season,” an Orkin press release on the list stated. “As the weather gets colder, unwanted pests like rats and mice seek out food, water and shelter to survive the winter.”

“Rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, while mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime,” said John Kane, entomologist and Technical Director of Orkin’s Midwest Region. “Even if they can’t find an opening, they can often chew their way in.”

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Kane also offers practical advice for deterring rodents from making their way into your home.

  • Check outside for signs of rodents, such as droppings or scratch marks along baseboards.
  • Keep food sealed in airtight containers to prevent rodents from smelling the leftovers.
  • Install weatherstrips around doors and entryways to block rodents from getting in.
  • Clean up any crumbs or spills to avoid leaving food that can attract rodents.