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Study: Chicago Named Number One ‘Rat Capital’ in the U.S.

Rats swarm around and in a bag of garbage in front of a dumpster in the Baruch Houses late Friday, July 7, 2000, in New York. For the residents of the Baruch Houses, hordes of foot-long, mangy rats are the stuff of nightmares that become reality every evening when the …
AP Photo/Robert Mecea

Chicago has earned the distinction of being the number one “rat capital” in the country, according to a recent study.

A study conducted by the apartment search service “Rent Hop” noted that the Windy City received a whopping 50,963 rat complaints in 2017—more than any other city in the United States.

The city’s rat problem has experienced an uptick during the past few years, with complaints increasing by 55 percent since 2014, according to the study.

“When comparing the number of complaints per 100,000 residents, Chicago topped the list with 1876.09 complaints per 100,000 residents,” the study stated.

CBS Chicago reported that many of the neighborhoods with rat problems also had high amounts of dog poop. Neighborhoods in downtown Chicago reported fewer rat complaints than other Chicago neighborhoods.

Other rat infested cities ranked high in rat complaints, including New York City and Washington, DC—ranked in second and third on the list. But Chicago had significantly more rat complaints than runner-up New York City—which logged 19,152 rat complaints in 2017 and once had the distinction of being the worst city for rat infestations.

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