(WGHP) — Two North Carolina cities have increased their ranking on the 2022 edition of Orkin’s “Top 50 Rattiest Cities” list.

Orkin, an American pest control company, produces the list every year.

Orkin produced the rankings based on the number of rodent treatments performed in each city from Sept. 1, 2021, to Aug. 31, 2022.

The first NC city to appear on the list is Charlotte, which is ranked 38th.

Charlotte’s ranking is four spots higher than its 2021 ranking.

The second NC city to appear on the list is Raleigh, which is ranked 32nd.

Raleigh’s ranking is three spots higher than its 2021 ranking.

With temperatures dropping as we inch closer to the winter months, rodent infestations are something to be on the lookout for.

“Rodent infestations are among the top pest issues of the fall and winter seasons,” said Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist. “Not only are mice and rats a nuisance, but they are known to spread a variety of dangerous diseases, including Salmonella and Hantavirus.”

Experts estimate that around 21 million homes in the US are invaded by mice and other rodents. They enter homes in the colder months of the year in order to look for food and shelter.

Rodent infestations have also become a larger threat in recent years due to changes in people’s dining habits brought on by the pandemic.

Here are some signs that your home could possibly be dealing with a rodent problem:

  • Rodent droppings
    • Often found in places where food is kept as well as inside cardboard boxes.
  • Gnaw marks
    • Mice are capable of biting through wires within walls which increases the risk of a house fire.
  • Nests
    • Look out for shredded paper products, cotton, packing material and fabrics as things rodents use to make nests out of.
  • Rub marks
    • Look out for dark grease or dirt marks on your walls and floors, rodents often follow trails between their nests and food.
  • Strange noises
    • Scurrying sounds in the walls or attic could be a sign of rodents.

Orkin also lists the following steps that homeowners can take to prevent rodent issues.

  • Store away food
    • Crumbs and garbage are favorite spots for rodents to search for food. Keep dry grains such as cereals in metal or glass containers.
  • Declutter
    • Avoid keeping excess cardboard in your home as rodents often chew through them and use them for nests.
  • Maintain your landscaping
    • Avoid things such as overly tall grass and woodpiles next to your home as they welcome rodents. Tree branches touching a home also act as an entryway for rodents.
  • Inspect your home inside and out
    • Always be on the lookout for rodent droppings, burrows and rub marks in and around your home. The sooner you detect a rodent infestation the better you can react to it.
  • Look for possible entry points into your home
    • Be sure to seal any holes and cracks you find around your home. Also, be sure to use weather strips around entryways and under doors to keep mice out.

The full list of 50 cities can be viewed below.

  1. Chicago
  2. New York (+1)
  3. Los Angeles (-1)
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. San Francisco
  6. Philadelphia (+1)
  7. Baltimore (-1)
  8. Cleveland, Oh. (+2)
  9. Detroit (-1)
  10. Denver (-1)
  11. Seattle
  12. Minneapolis
  13. Boston
  14. Atlanta (+1)
  15. Indianapolis (-1)
  16. Pittsburgh
  17. Cincinnati (+2)
  18. San Diego (-1)
  19. Hartford (+2)
  20. Miami
  21. Milwaukee (+1)
  22. Houston (-4)
  23. Dallas (-3)
  24. Portland, OR
  25. Columbus, OH (+1)
  26. Richmond (+2)
  27. Kansas City (-2)
  28. Norfolk (-1)
  29. Nashville (+7)
  30. St. Louis
  31. Grand Rapids (+1)
  32. Raleigh (+3)
  33. Champaign (+4)
  34. Albany (-3)
  35. Louisville (+5)
  36. Sacramento (-7)
  37. New Orleans (-4)
  38. Charlotte (+4)
  39. Buffalo (+2)
  40. Flint (-6)
  41. Greenville (+3)
  42. Syracuse (+4)
  43. Tampa (+7)
  44. South Bend (+21)
  45. Portland (-7)
  46. Phoenix (-3)
  47. Charleston
  48. Ft. Wayne (+12)
  49. Orlando (+3)
  50. Burlington (-11)