Rat problems in New York are no new thing. In 1945, a young journalist writing for The New Yorker named Joseph Mitchell penned a startling comment in one of his columns: “Some [rat] authorities think that in New York’s five boroughs, there is one rat for every human being”.

Seventy years later, New York City continues to battle a never-ending war against rats and recently ordered the city’s Health Department to ramp up its efforts to educate New Yorkers on “making streets, gardens and businesses less hospitable to rats–to view their neighborhoods the way health inspectors view them”.1

The Rat Academy

NYC’s “Rat Reservoir Pilot” is the Big Apple’s latest strategy to help reduce rat infestations. Hiring pest management professional exterminators like Assured Environments and having city workers seal holes in public infrastructures, sidewalks (holes in sidewalks can lead directly to rat heaven–the sewers) and park buildings. Like most rodents, rats require only the tiniest opening to scoot or squeeze through–usually less than the size of a quarter.

To provide valuable insight into rat behavior, NYC is also offering a free, two-hour Rat Academy seminar for anyone who wants to know more about ridding the city of rats. In fact, the infestation is so bad this year that members of community gardens are reporting unusually large amounts of actual live rats, dead rats, rat droppings and the unmistakable odor of decomposing rats lying hidden under thick garden vegetation.

Brown Norway Rats Thrive in All Seasons

New York City provides enough sanctuaries for brown Norway rats (aka street rats and sewer rats) to escape frigid winters and enough garbage for them to eat to survive for the next 500 years. Omnivorous and opportunistic, brown rats are, like most rodents, prolific, hardy and well-adapted to city life. They don’t care if it is 10 degrees below zero or 100 degrees in the shade. They don’t care if it hasn’t rained for a month or if there is eight feet of snow on the ground. Sewer rats have a job to do and that is to continue infesting, breeding and spreading disease, regardless of the time of year.

Putting a pest management plan in action can help reduce a single incident becoming a major rodent problem. Contact your New York and New Jersey Pest professionals today. Call us on 888-834-3891.

1. NPR, (08/29/2014), ‘Rats! New York City Tries To Drain Rodent ‘Reservoirs’