As Brooklyn grows in popularity, so does its rat population: report

Mike Montone
May 22, 2019 - 11:27 am
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- It appears Brooklyn is the place to be, and even the rats know it!

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According to an analysis of city data by the New York Times and the non-profit watchdog 'theopenbooks.com', rat sightings called into 311 rose by 38 percent last year from about 12,600 to more than 17,000.

They also said that during the same period the number of times that city health inspectors found active signs of rats, nearly doubled.

The Times says rats are spending more time lingering on sidewalks than people, even chewing through car engine wires in some cases.

Even some of America's toughest warriors say they're a little creeped out.

“I’m a former Marine so I’m not going to be squeamish, but this is bad,” said Pablo Herrera.

Gentrification and an uptick in trendy restaurant are blamed for the surge in Brooklyn, but Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared war on the pests.

“There is no doubt that rats have a major impact on New Yorkers’ quality of life and this administration takes seriously our responsibility to control and mitigate their population,” said Laura Anglin, deputy mayor of operations. “No New Yorker likes having rats in their community and we are committed to continuing the work of controlling rats in all of our neighborhoods.”

So far the rats are winning, but the problem isn't unique to New York.

“Everywhere I go, rat populations are up,” said research scientist Dr. Robert Corrigan.

The Times reports outbreaks in Philadelphia, Chicago, and LA and numbers are said to be up by 15 to 25 percent in some places.

In addition to being gross infestation can come with deadly consequences. In 2017, an infection spread by rat urine killed a Bronx resident.

The report also cited climate change, saying milder winters are making it easier for rats to survive and reproduce.

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