PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Problems with trash collection earlier this year may be to blame for an uptick in pests in Philadelphia. Residents say rats are running rampant in some neighborhoods.
Not only is piled-up trash an eyesore but more and more Philadelphia residents are also wondering if that is the reason for the uptick in pests and rodents in their neighborhood.
“It’s causing a lot of rats and I think I saw a raccoon,” said Brenda Ramos Ayala of Kensington.
City officials say they have received over 1,600 reports of rats this year, as exterminators across the city say they are experiencing a boom in business.
“It’s doubled tremendously. It’s actually tripled. We’ve been busy day in and day out, working about 12 to 14-hour days handling all the calls, the influx,” said Rich Foreman from Dynamite Pest Control.
Mayor Jim Kenney believes there could be a number of reasons for the increase in creepy crawlers.
“As much to do or maybe more to do that restaurants have not been opened for quite some time and the flow of food supply for them made them a little more aggressive and made them come out more in the open than they would be,” Kenney said.
Although some homeowners say there’s a backup, the city’s managing director says trash pickup is back on schedule.
“We encourage folks who maybe have issues with rodents to call and report them to 311, so we can have our health department sort of go check that out,” said Philadelphia Managing Director Tumar Alexander.
To help prevent them from getting into your home, Foreman suggests keeping a close eye on your home, making sure there are no gaps, and your porch is cemented.
“Any cracks, gaps, it could be the size of a quarter, a rat or rodent can squeeze into your home,” Foreman said.
Common sense precautions like hosing down trash and recycling bins could help save you some money in the long run.
“Everything is sanitation, if you have fleas, flies, maggots, it has to do with sanitation control,” Foreman said.
It’s exactly why Ramos is itching with concern when it comes to the garbage on her block.
“They’re making new houses and it’s looking beautiful, so we would like for that lot to stay clean too,” she said.
In the meantime, if you have seen an increase in the number of rodents or pests in your area, report it to 311 so the city can tend to it and keep track of the surge.