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New York City’s Rat Complaints are up
despite concentrated efforts from the City

rat control

A Rat: not to be confused with politicians or lawyers

Despite a year-long effort by the Bloomberg administration to rid the city of rats, the rodents are still thriving. In the intervening time, complaints are seriously on the rise. New Yorkers’ complaints about the rats have risen by 8% since 2003, and are up 40% since the 2002, according to the city of New York.
There is no accurate count of how many rats inhabit New York City on a yearly basis but NYC Health Department officials claim the mayor’s efforts have made a difference in rat population in some neighborhoods. Even though, all the new construction on buildings and on highways has released new activity on the streets of NYC. Still, they confess the war on rats is far from finished. This battle will wage on for years to come with no end in sight.

It’s overwhelming but we have to do something,” stated Dr. Edgar Butts, who is the assistant health commissioner for veterinary and pest control services. When asked which borough has the worst rat infestation, Butts said it is not even close. Some boroughs are worse than others but there is one sure fire winner. ”

The rat problem in the Bronx is worse than anywhere else in NYC and Growing. ” It’s three times worse than in Manhattan and eight times worse than in Brooklyn.”

Mayor Bloomberg’s war on rats started in Aug. 2003 when he raised the $12 million rat-control budget to $13 million. Bloomberg has devoted the extra $ 1 million to the areas of the city with the worst rat problems: •Bushwick, •Brooklyn, •Concourse Village, •Melrose, •High Bridge in the South Bronx, and •East Harlem in Manhattan.

In Bushwick, residents remember when they could not make it down the block without a rat running in front of them. Rats used to own the streets of Bushwick. “This would never be acceptable in a higher income neighborhood,” said Andrew Friedman of Make the Road by Walking, a Bushwick based community organization.

rat control

one of our guys setting up Rat baits

Increased inspections, Cleanliness, exterminations and rat proofing trash cans have made a big difference. Councilman Bill Perkins said the city does not have a long-term commitment to getting a handle on the budding rat population. You hear stories all over the five boroughs about sewer rats in the subways. The story mushroomed into a city government scandal when it turned out that a NYC restaurant inspector had given a rodent rich KFC & Taco Bell a passing grade one day before the rats gone wild video was taped. This Video went viral all over the web. We have video of it on our newspress page.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene terminated that inspector from duty and announced that all of the city’s inspectors would take a run through Rodent Control Academy. Here at Beyond Pest Control, we believe the only way they can win the war on rats is with a consistent, educated, comprehensive approach.

The city of New York is thinking of setting up its own individual rat squads and one office dedicated to rat control. Health Department officials said inspections have increased by 30%, to almost 84,000, between last year and the previous fiscal year. But still more needs to be done. Butts said the city will focus more attention in the Bronx, where a bad combination of vacant buildings, lots filled with overgrown weeds and unsealed trash containers has added up to a haven for rats.

Rat bait

not to be taken internally

But vermin is far from a Bronx issue. Over the past year, hair-raising rat horror stories have popped up across the city and across the web. A couple of summers ago, the firefighters from Engine 298, Ladder Co. 127 and Battalion 50 in Queens, had to move out of their firehouse while it was rodent proofed and baited to flush out rats. Apparently the entire firehouse was overrun.

The CDC Prevention lists six diseases carried by rats, the number one being Leptospirosis. According to the CDC Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals Alike. The bacteria are in the rat urine. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans it causes a wide range of symptoms, some symptoms seem to be like other diseases and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all. Symptoms of Leptospirosis include •high fever, •severe headache, •chills, •muscle aches, and •vomiting, and may include •jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), •red eyes, •abdominal pain, •diarrhea, or a •rash.
If the disease is not treated, the patient could develop •kidney damage, •meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), •liver failure, and •respiratory distress. In rare cases death occurs.

Rodent info for New Yorker’s

We came across this very informative Rat Information Portal; it provides New Yorker’s more information on rats. This site teaches you how to prevent and manage a rat problem or an infestation.

So the day is here, you realize you have some un-wanted furry little roommates. So whose responsibility is it to take care of this rat problem? If you are renting it is the responsibility of your landlord to cover all cost for exterminating the rats. According to this site “the property owners are responsible for maintaining a rat-free environment on their properties. The NYC Health Code requires owners to clean their properties and eliminate conditions that lead to rats and when appropriate, to hire a pest management professional. Conditions in and outside buildings and on lots and other premises that contribute to rats are violations of Article 151 of the Health Code.

These include accumulation of garbage, waste material, and water, and garbage that is not kept in tightly covered rat-resistant trash cans.” It also goes on to advise the tenants should be doing their part also “by handling garbage correctly – placing garbage into tightly covered trash cans and promptly reporting rats to property owners, building managers or co-op associations. Tenants can show their building management where they have seen rats or signs of rats and ask them to use the DOHMH Guide “Preventing Rats on Your Property.” If nothing is done, tenants can call 311 to report the problem.” I also found it interesting that when a renter calls 411 to report a rat problem, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene comes in to do an inspection.

According to the site ‘The Health Department inspects the property to ensure that property owners are following the Health Code. When a property fails an inspection, the owner is issued a Commissioner’s Order from the Health Department notifying that rats or conditions that encourage rats have been found on their property. Depending on the severity of the problem, property owners are given a chance to correct conditions before the Health Department returns for a second inspection. When owners fail to control rats on their property, the Health Department will issue a fine and may apply rat bait or clean up the property.

Property owners are required to reimburse the City for the work completed. ” It’s great how the city of New York is cracking down on these furry little creatures. They also provide tips on how to keep them out of your house. They say “rats seek out places to live that provide them with everything they need to survive: food, water, shelter and safe ways for them to get around. Rats like to build nests or burrows in the earth and prefer traveling along the same paths over and over–often using building foundations walls, fences and bushes to find their way.”


Beyond Pest Control.

Our pest control specialists service all NYC boroughs, including Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island (both Nassau & Suffolk counties), Staten Island and even both Westchester & Rockland counties.