We’re Number One! (For Rats)

The Upper West Side is the best neighborhood in the city. And it’s not just the people who think so. The rats are also quite comfortable here.

A Renthop study of 311 complaints about rats found that the Upper West Side, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Harlem had the most such complaints in 2017.

The map below charts the concentration of rodent complaints by neighborhood.

Last year, after a West Side Rag article and subsequent media firestorm over rats in playgrounds, the mayor earmarked $750,000 to combat the rat problem. Playgrounds got new trash cans, parks officers created baiting stations to catch rats, and they also started using dry ice to kill the rats. So commenters, is it working?

NEWS | 30 comments | permalink
    1. LC says:

      No, it’s not working. There’s still too much garbage sitting out on the streets. The city needs to start fining buildings more for putting garbage out too early. NYCHA is one of the worst violators – piles of garbage sit out on the sidewalks around the Douglass Houses for days at a time. It’s rat heaven.

    2. Alex says:

      as a west-sider, this is fun to see — but it really only gives evidence about the UWS being the #1 neighborhood for complainers

    3. Carlos says:

      I have not been seeing as many rats as before but they are still definitely around. The most recent one I saw was dead. I appreciate the efforts to deal with this problem.

    4. Broadway&69th says:

      It doesn’t help that restaurants like Noi Due on 69th street leave food out in the alley way and doesn’t dispose of their garbage properly.

      Google “noi due rats” and you will have more info.

    5. Wendy says:

      Did Pres. Ronald Reagan cut the $$$$ for rat control ? I’ve seen a bag of dry ice discarded in a [litter basket ?, or trash can,?]. Which breed of Rats in N.Y.C. ? Some litter baskets , the green ones with the lever, have been opened up; & the plastic basket has been separated from the green metal Can; in some of 2 boros. “A cleaner New YOrk…[City] is up to you.” Remember the strike in London, Eng. re rubbish ? Japan, s’posedly, has strict recling rules. How’re Freegans doin ‘?

    6. NPK says:

      Not working at all. And btw the rat urine is dangerous for the neighborhood dogs! There is a canine virus caused by rat urine. Its not just in the parks. They are all over the residential streets. It is shocking what the city is NOT doing to combat this problem

      • geoff says:

        Leptospira interrogans is in dog urine too.

        “This spiral-shaped bacteria, which resides in the urine of various pets, can corkscrew its way through your skin and into the bloodstream. From there, L. interrogans causes fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. If left untreated, the infection can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, and even death.”

        so, rats AND dogs pose similar threats.

    7. Geoff says:

      Um… no!

    8. Kayson212 says:

      From the Bureau of Squeaky Wheel Statistics: Most rats, or most complaints about rats?

    9. Tim says:

      North side of W80th between Columbus and Amsterdam is still horrible. They scurry around even during the day, without any garbage around.

    10. Independent says:

      As the legendary Frank of Queens would say,

      …like a cornered r-r-r-rat…

    11. jb says:

      The new trash containers are fantastic and make a big difference, however now we’re seeing more rats brazenly hanging out on the sidewalks instead of running around in the park. A big rat ran across my daughter’s feet the other night on 79th St. Best not to wear sandals the night before trash pick up I guess! ewww.

    12. Robert Levit says:

      Sorry the rats (and mice) are still winning.

    13. UPperWEstsideguy says:

      I am so sorry to hear this but every time I read the word Rats I heard the world Politicians.. I am at a loss to explain it. ITs just that the article reads better that way. It is stil absurd.

    14. Nicole says:

      A year ago, the situation in the upper 80s was awful. We kept calling 311 and the problem seemed to get better. Then, a couple of months ago, we started seeing them again, even in pairs, on 89th Street near CPW. We called again and the situation has improved.

    15. mp says:

      yes i think so. i am seeing a lot less rodents this year compared to last year. ofcourse we cant completely get rid of them but seeing less rats in riverside park this year during the day

    16. joni says:

      Maybe we just like to complain more than others?

    17. bonita says:

      it is not working because new yorkers and visitors still throw their trash on the streets.

    18. Sigi says:

      NOPE!Here on 89th bet. Columbus and CPW, the rat situation is the worst I’ve seen in a decade, and I haven’t seen anyone putting any dry ice or anything else into their gross nests. All political BS as usual. I don’t wear open toe shoes after dark anymore.

    19. Brenda says:

      These comments are so enjoyable! Thank you!!!

    20. Smithe says:

      Gee, it might have something do to with the fact that we are nestled between two of the city’s largest parks, one of which is bordered by a body of water thereby providing a natural containment on one side. True, the garbage situation needs to be improved, but so does the active and effective extermination of these vermin.

    21. tnic says:

      Anyone know where to buy dry ice?

    22. B.B. says:

      Isn’t just the garbage causing all this rat activity. But the ongoing and seemingly never ending construction boom going on atm in NYC.

      Norway rats are natural borrowing animals, all the digging at construction sites, not to mention construction in general disturbs underground borrows, nests and so forth.

      The tearing down of all those old buildings for “redevelopment” doesn’t help matters either.

      This being said, yes garbage is a major issue. In particular all these places that sell food (restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries, etc..) who throw out tons of it nightly in nothing more than plastic bags.

      Worse those plastic bags are often these days opened and contents scattered by dumpster divers, the homeless and others scrounging for free food.

      Also private carting services often don’t get around to picking up some trash until four of five in the morning. That means those bags full of food sit out for five, six or more hours.

      One of the worst decisions this city made was moving away from requiring garage be in metal garbage cans or dumpsters with tight fitting lids.

    23. Jerry says:

      No, it is not working. On two of the last three nights around 10 p.m. I have seen large rats scurrying in the street, darting under parked cars and on the sidewalk of W. 88th between Columbus and CPW.

      • Flaca says:

        Also, the lady who walks around feeding the birds everywhere
        especially on 95th St & dropping seeds in between cars and in front of the school PS 75. she doesn’t care only to feed her animals including rats. These individuals need to be educated over and over again.
        Also, PS 75 needs to put a sign in front of their playground on 95th St. although that probably will not stop her.
        A steep summons will!

    24. barbara says:

      West 94th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam is rat heaven. We have called 311 over and over but nothing seems to get done.