Mice Run Wild in Philadelphia

There are more mouse sightings here than any other big city in the nation.



Philadelphia has the highest rate of mouse sightings of the 25 major metropolitan areas of U.S. cities. One out of every five Philadelphia households spotted a mouse — or, er, the evidence of a mouse — over the last year, according to this Bloomberg report, which compiled the responses in the U.S. Census’s American Housing Survey (yeah, the Census bureau asks about household pests).

Not surprisingly, two other northeastern cities with aging housing stocks rounded out the top three; Baltimore, which had a mouse infestation rate of 16.1 percent and Boston, with a rate of 15.9 percent.

But hey, Philadelphia actually isn’t so bad when it comes to rats (14th out of 25) or cockroaches, believe it or not. Cities down South are far more prone to cockroach infestations than ones up North, given that cockroaches prefer more humid environments with high temperatures. The top three cities for rates of cockroach infestation were Tampa (37.6 percent), Houston (34 percent), and Miami (30.4 percent).

Mice tend to prefer cooler weather, which is why they are more common in cities in the Northeast and Northern Midwest, while rats can live in just about any temperature, and are prevalent in nearly every country in the world.

What’s the city doing about all those mice? Not much. Mouse control is a homeowner responsibility. “The property owner should consult an exterminator” if issues with household pests are present, says the Philadelphia Department of Health’s Communications Director Jeff Moran in an email.

However, the DOH, does provide some good tips on getting rid of and controlling cockroaches, rats, and other animals. Among the advice given is storing food in rat-proof containers made of metal or glass, and fixing any plumbing leaks, which will reduce moisture and discourage cockroaches from infesting.