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The rats are back in Prospect Heights; the city takes steps to address the rat problem (focusing elsewhere)

The rats are back, in Prospect Heights and in a lot of places around the city, stirred up by construction, attracted by garbage, and resistant to all but the most careful measures.

As the Brooklyn Reader reported 6/22/17, Prospect Heights Residents Complain of Rat Infestation, residents on Dean Street between Sixth and Carlton avenues cited multiple construction projects (including Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park) and inadequate street cleaning.

The city Department of Health said it was "intensifying our efforts in this zone" and observed that property owners--with guidance from the DOH's Rodent Academy--were responsible for their property.

Two blocks away, at St. Marks Avenue between Flatbush and Vanderbilt avenues, longtime resident (and Atlantic Yards foe) Patti Hagan told me "it's just gotten worse and worse every time they dig up the streets and sidewalks for infrastructure." She noted that construction workers leave food trash and that some restaurants' trash seems to attract rats.

She said some 40 neighbors have hired one pest control firm, saying at one meeting that "it's never been like this." Hagan said she'd like to see legislation requiring that, whenever digging or demolition begins, the agency issuing the permits must also address the rat problem.

A new city plan

Last week, as the New York Daily News reported, the city announced a new rat-control plan, which does not focus on Prospect Heights:
The plan includes hundreds [336] of new high-tech rat-proof trash cans — which go for a whopping $7,000 a pop — and would force buildings in targeted neighborhoods to take out their trash between 4 and 6 a.m.
The push targets three areas with the most rat complaints — Chinatown, the lower East Side and East Village in Manhattan, Grand Concourse in the Bronx, and Bushwick and Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. It aims to reduce their rat population by 70% there.
That plan for early-morning trash takeout requires legislation, as the Times noted. It also cited a new plan to kill rats using dry ice.


  1. $7000 trash cans? How about a mandate against not putting garbage bags directly on the street? Force buildings, businesses and home owners to place all trash in receptacles - that would be the first start. And most sanitary.


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