City targets rat infestations in Manhattan, Bronx with new pilot program

rat infestation nyc
The Health Department plans to launch a new pilot program aimed at driving down ballooning rat infestations in neighborhoods in Manhattan and the Bronx.
Credit: Ari Moore/Flickr

The city announced on Tuesday that it’s racing to get rid of rats in some of the city’s most infested areas.

The Health Department plans to launch a new pilot program aimed at driving down ballooning rat populations in what its calling “rat reservoirs.”

Currently, the program is budgeted $611,000 to focus on these pockets of major infestation, which the city defined as locations where even repeated extermination attempts aren’t cutting down the number of rats and individual owners can’t address the problem on their own.

Parks, subways and privately owned buildings can all be susceptible to persistent rat nests, but the pilot will focus specifically on northern Manhattan and the South Bronx.

The Health Department declined to say which neighborhoods in particular might see more rat patrolling. Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Health Dan Kass advised the City Council on Tuesday that the problem is more spread out than in just particular communities.

“Not every neighborhood has a reservoir, but some of the neighborhoods have some of these reservoirs,” Kass said.

Both Manhattan and the Bronx have been subject to “rat indexing” by the Health Department, since about 2006, whereby the agency proactively goes out through the borough to track and inspect properties.

In Manhattan alone, its northern-most communities outpace the number of failed inspections. About 9.8 percent of inspections around the Morningside and Hamilton Heights sections test positive for rats, while 12 percent of locations in Washington Heights and Inwood fail inspections.

Comparatively, 2.3 percent of inspections in Greenwich Village and 1.9 percent of inspections in the Upper East Side fail.

With the additional money, the department said it will work with local groups in the neighborhoods and other partners to better target the reservoirs, as well as appoint a person of contact for property owners and managers to coordinate efforts.

“Rats wouldn’t reproduce and populate our city if we didn’t feed them and give them water,” said Health Department Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett on Tuesday.

Failed rat inspections by Manhattan Community Districts


View Failed rat inspections by Manhattan district in a larger map

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…