Rat invasion in Rittenhouse Square

October 4, 2013

Center City resident Steven Margolies tells Action News, "This in an ongoing problem. They are everywhere."

And when the sun goes down, the rats come out. These days when you go out for a nighttime stroll in Rittenhouse Square, residents say you won't be alone.

Carlton Humphrey, who works nearby, says, "I have absolutely seen a rat. I've seen rats - plural. Yes. I think they live here. And they're not afraid."

And they're not small either.

"They're big too," said local resident Kathryn Halpert. "They're not like mice, like, these are rats."

Walking through one of the wealthiest areas in the city, you might be tempted to gaze upwards toward the surrounding luxury apartments and trendy restaurants. Just don't' forget to glance down.

"In the summertime you'd be sitting on benches and not knowing they were crawling at your feet," said Halpert.

Daphne Owen, who also lives downtown, tells us, "It creeps me out, but I live in a city. I guess it's OK. I don't feel like they're going to come get me."

Trash cans, bushes, and leftovers from park-goers. It's a packed agenda for this rat pack. The critters can be seen scurrying through, and they're not shy either. While some see this as the reality of city living, others are hoping they will soon see the fruits of some of the city's efforts to lower the rat population.

"They actually seem to be more, more, more comfortable being out amongst people. Like, at one point a person would come up and they would run. Now it's almost as if they're like cats. They're, like, so domesticated," said Margolies.

Even though the city is doing their part, residents are hoping park-goers will pick up after themselves as to not attract more rats to the area.

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