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Mayfair Residents Say Concerns Of Rat Infestation Falling On Deaf Ears: 'Big Ones The Size Of A Cat'

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Residents in Philadelphia's Mayfair neighborhood say rats are running wild, and they want action from the city.

A viewer reached out to CBS3 about the rat infestation at a corner property near Shelmire Avenue and Leon Street. Residents say they're disgusted and fed up their concerns are falling on deaf ears. Eyewitness News reached out to the city to get answers.

A viewer sent cell phone video showing evidence of a rat infestation in the front yard of this Shelmire Avenue rowhome.

"The amount of rats that were coming out of here were unbelievable. I mean from little ones to big ones the size of a cat," resident Mike Anderson said.

Eyewitness News also spotted several rats scurrying on the grass and sidewalk Monday afternoon, but residents we spoke with say they've seen dozens more.

"The biggest fear is that they start invading inside your house," Francis O'Connor said.

The rats appear to be attracted to the trash bins in the front yard, as well as a garden in the adjacent property.

"A child could get bit by the rat. They definitely spread disease," Anderson said.

None of the tenants of the rowhome wanted to talk, but we reached out to their landlord's property manager. A woman who answered the phone said she didn't know anything about the infestation and said she would call back after speaking to the owner. We're still waiting to hear back.

"Nothing's done. You call the city for the vector control that handles rodent problems. I was told good luck with that," Anderson said.

"That's a completely unacceptable answer and the city of Philadelphia must do better," Cindy Bass said.

Bass is the chair of Philadelphia's Council Committee on Public Health and Human Services.

After Eyewitness News contacted the city Health Department, a representative came out within hours to pour rat poison down the holes leading to their underground burrows.

It remains to be seen whether that solves the problem or if this property will need more aggressive treatment.

If you see rats in your neighborhood, contact Philly 311 or contact your city councilmember.

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