Remember, mice are little furry things, rats are basically big mice with longer tails, and ROUSes (rodents of unusual size) are stunt actors in ginormous opossum suits that like to wrestle in the Fire Swamp. The pest and exterminator company Orkin puts out an annual list of the most rat infested cities in America, and Houston, Texas made one of the biggest jumps this year to land ahead of Dallas.

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In fact, Texas was sitting safely outside the top 20 until the newest list was debuted about a week ago. Of the 50 cities on the list, only a few made double digit jumps, and one of those cities happens to be Houston.

What requirements must be met to land on the rattiest cities list by Orkin?

Orkin creates their list from the total residential and commercial cases between September 1st and August 31st each year, and is based upon total calls and the subsequent actions taken by the clients in addressing their rat issue. Based on those statistics alone, the larger cities most likely would have the most calls, which is why it is no surprise that Chicago is number 1 for the 9th straight year while Los Angeles and New York City flip flopped to be number 2 and 3 respectively.

By those standards, the Lone Star State is performing very well for having the 4th and 5th largest cities in the country, and yet land at number 20 and 22. So, either we do a good job of deterring rats, or we simply don't care that they are there?

More info in this USA Today article.

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