Our civic leaders like to talk about Philadelphia as the Next Great American City. There’s an amazing restaurant scene. There are newly developed urban oases like Spruce Street Harbor Park. And we’ve championed all sorts of progressive ideas, like green buildings, bike share, decriminalized pot and gay marriage. But we’re still a city, and boy, do we have the rats to show for it.
According to a new report released by Atlanta-based pest control company Orkin, Philadelphia has fewer rats than Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, but more than cities like Detroit, Boston and St. Louis.
Orkin, which was founded in the Lehigh Valley in 1901, released its findings this week, placing Philadelphia in seventh place on its Top 50 Rattiest Cities list.
The company says that it based its report on the number of treatments performed in the cities between October 1st, 2015, and September 30th, 2016.
The last time Orkin released a report like this was in 2014, when the company named the 20 rattiest cities using the same methodology. Somewhat surprisingly, Philadelphia didn’t even show up on that list. And now we’re number seven!
But that’s not to say that we didn’t have a big rat problem in 2013. We certainly did.
In 2013, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health told Philly Mag that the city’s Rat Complaint Hotline had noticed a dramatic increase in calls compared to the same time period during the previous year.
“I’ve been in the city for a dozen years, and I’ve never seen a single rat until this year,” public relations executive Paige Wolf told us in May 2013. “Then we started seeing rats on the back patio. All of our neighbors are seeing them. I was walking down the street at 11th and Fitzwater the other day, and a rat just ran in front of a bus. They’re everywhere.”
And who can forget the most well-publicized rat incident of 2013: Giant rats caught on video on top of the tables at popular Center City brunch spot Green Eggs Cafe.
Also notorious for its rats are the underground rail lines of SEPTA:
Below, the full Top 50 Rattiest Cities list as released by Orkin:
- New York
- Washington D.C.
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
- Minneapolis-St. Paul
- Miami-Ft. Lauderdale
- Dallas-Ft. Worth
- Hartford & New Haven, Conn.
- Portland, Ore.
- Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
- Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va.
- Richmond-Petersburg, Va.
- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.
- Charlotte, N.C.
- St. Louis
- Buffalo, N.Y.
- Kansas City, Mo.
- Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.
- Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif.
- Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich.
- Rochester, N.Y.
- West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, Fla.
- Columbus, Ohio
- New Orleans, La.
- Nashville, Tenn.
- Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville, S.C.
- Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Mich.
- Albuquerque-Santa Fe, N.M.
- Portland-Auburn, Maine
- Green Bay-Appleton, Wis.
- Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla.
- San Diego
- Burlington-Plattsburgh, Vt.
- Madison, Wis.
- Salt Lake City
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