City Budgets to Combat Rat Problems

Mayor de Blasio’s budget for the Health Department includes $611,000 to target the “rat reservoirs.” The money will be used to hire nine inspectors to hunt and exterminate in Manhattan and South Bronx. They will be specifically targeting colonies in parks and sewers where rodents lurk and infest the surrounding neighborhood.

For the past eight years, the city has been using a system known as “rat indexing,” in which officials fan out across a neighborhood to look for signs of rats, from ratholes to droppings, and push owners to get rid of the creatures. But even if landlords act, rats still lurk in underground burrows or the crevices of the sewer system nearby and reinfest the area.