North Philly residents say rat problem escalating due to construction in the area

Between trash lining the streets and construction happening all over you've probably noticed that rats are making the rounds. 

"That was four, five, six. My neighbor has some," said Audrey Walker as she shows me signs of rats in her North Philly neighborhood. They’re outside her house too along the 900 block of North 13th Street. 

"It's rat holes right here. I stuck Brillo pads down in here. Everywhere you see a brick is a hole," she said.  

"If they're trying to dig in, they're trying to get in the house and that's what I'm really afraid of," she said. 

Walker is so afraid that she and her 3-year-old granddaughter Zamara barely sit on the porch on nice days.

"Because of the rats. You see them running in the back and in the front and I'm petrified," she said. 

Walker and her neighbor Dorothy Young believe the surge in rats is because of all the digging in her area. 

"One rat got hit. That's a good thing. God bless his soul," said Young. 

FOX 29 found several spots along Broad Street between Girard and Poplar where demolition is underway, including a property near Temple. At 12th and Girard Rite Aid is now gone. 

"The rats have to run somewhere," said Walker. 

Neighbors tell FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson they've called 311 and Vector Control which is part of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health several times over the summer. They say they received a confirmation, but no one has contacted them about what's being done. 

"I pay my taxes why y’all can’t do what you’re supposed to do as a city and put down some rat boxes or poison or something," said Walker. I contacted the city today...and a spokesperson said residents should contact Vector Control and that staff will usually respond on-site within one day. They were checking into how many complaints have come in. We're waiting to hear back. 



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