A rat scurries along the sidewalk as a person lies on a bench in McPherson Square. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

The District is known for its lovely architecture and historic sites. And for its rats, at least according to a recent ranking of the most rat-infested cities in the country.

D.C. ranks fifth on the “Top 50 Rattiest Cities” list, which is put out by pest control company Orkin.

At the top of the list was Chicago for the third year in a row, followed by New York and Los Angeles.

Here’s the list, according to Orkin:

  1. Chicago
  2. New York
  3. Los Angeles
  4. San Francisco — Oakland
  5. Washington, D.C.
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Detroit
  8. Baltimore
  9. Seattle — Tacoma
  10. Dallas — Fort Worth

In its release about its latest findings, Orkin reminded people that fall is the “start of rodent season.”

“As the weather gets colder, unwanted pests like rats and mice seek out food, water and shelter to survive the winter,” the company said.

Each year, more than 20 million rodents get into homes, according to the National Pest Management Association.

John Kane, an entomologist and technical director for Orkin’s Midwest region, said rats can “squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, while mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime.”

Orkin said rodents can cause plenty of problems, including contaminating food and carrying diseases through feces and urine. They can also burrow and cause cracks in a home’s foundation. And their chewing can harm wires in basements, attics and vehicles.

And who knew? But according to Orkin, about 25 percent of the “unexplained wildfires start from rodent chewing.”