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Philadelphia residents expressed concerns over the increased visibility of rodents in the city. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Philadelphia placed seventh on Orkin’s “Top 50 Rattiest Cities List” for the second year in a row.

Each year, Orkin, a pest control company, releases its “Top 50 Rattiest Cities List.” This year, Orkin created the list based on the number of new commercial and residential rodent treatments it performed between Sept. 15, 2020 and Sept. 15, 2021. Chicago ranked first for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Baltimore. Detroit, Denver, and Cleveland rounded out the top 10.

Orkin reported that during the last year, the visibility of rodents increased as they scavenged new areas due to the lack of food waste from restaurants. 

This list comes a week after residents in Philadelphia’s Hunting Park expressed concern about a rodent infestation. Residents say that rats are living in a vacant lot on the 3600 block of Germantown Avenue, 6ABC reported. A barbershop owner next to the lot said that the rodents are burrowing into the ground and under nearby buildings.

The city has taken some measures to address recent rat infestations in the city. After CBS3 Eyewitness News reached out to the Health Department, they showed up at the Germantown Avenue lot the next day to begin the process of gaining access since the lot is private property. 

Still, one block captain told CBS3 that she reached out to city officials months ago, and was told that it would take six months to clean it up. City Councilmember Cindy Bass told CBS that she believes this delay in response is insufficient. 

“We are going to fight for you, we are going to fight the administration, with anyone who says you have to live like this for six months,” Bass told CBS. “This is totally unacceptable.”

According to Philly Voice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released steps local homeowners can take to prevent rodents from entering homes. The recommendations include sealing the access points into homes, tightly covering garbage bins, and cleaning up after rodents. Orkin also released recommendations, which include keeping food stored away, inspecting inside and outside the home, and clearing out the clutter in cabinets.

Penn has faced its own problems with pests in the past. Graduate students living in Sansom Place East, the only graduate housing on campus, voiced concerns in 2018 about the living conditions there, citing pests, frequent repairs for leaks, and faulty appliances. The University announced a $94 million dollar renovation this summer that aims to remedy these and other problems by the summer of 2023.  

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