Philadelphia and Pittsburgh always make the annual list of the most rodent-infested cities in the United States. A survey of real estate professionals across the country revealed that Philadelphia ranks fifth in the nation when it comes to the frequency of rodent pest issues, and several other annual surveys, most involving pest control professionals, see both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh make the top 20 list of most rodent-infested cities nationwide. The rodent issue is so bad in Philadelphia that the state government hires experts to seek out rodent hotspots all over the city. For example, rodenticides are often placed near the base of utility poles and street lights, as these areas frequently see mounds of rodent excrement, clearly marking these sites as rodent hotspots. These professionals often find rodent burrows near city parks and other busy public areas where the chances of contracting diseases from rodents is relatively high. One of these state employed professionals, Jason Edinger, a supervisor on the city health department’s Vector Control Unit, states that rodents are after three things: food, water and shelter. This makes them particularly abundant in residential areas, especially during the fall and winter season when the pests seek indoor refuge from the cold winter weather.
Residential areas are ideal locations for rodents due to the abundance of low-hanging shrubbery where the pests can hide and retain warmth. Residential areas also provide rodents with an abundance of available water sources, making rodent pest issues particularly problematic on irrigated lawns and in frequently watered gardens. Perhaps most enticing of all, rodents thrive off of the available food sources in neighborhood garbage bins. As long as rodents can find easy access to garbage bins, they will always be an issue around homes. Last January, Phildalphia made national news for being the city where the greatest number of rodent sightings occur. According to the U.S. Census’ American Housing Survey, nearly 18 percent of Philadelphia homeowners reported seeing a rat either within or around their home, which is more than Boston, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and even New York City. In order to keep the number of rodents on a property as low as possible, it is important to keep garbage bin lids securely attached. Store-bought rodenticides and traps can also be purchased, but serious infestations can only be addressed by a licensed pest control professional.
Have you ever found rats rummaging through your garbage?