Rat Academy Is Coming; Learn How to Control the Scourge!


Photo by Lisa Leshne.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Are you walking the sidewalks of the neighborhood a little more nervously since we reported last month that a “Rat-pocalypse” has hit the city, particularly on the—you guessed it—Upper West Side? It’s still not clear whether we have the most rats, or the most complaints about rats, but, regardless, the sight of even one is too many.

Don’t live in fear. Learn how to fight back by attending a free, two-hour session of Rat Academy, the NYC Department of Health’s “Rat Management Training to encourage best practices in rat prevention and management…targeted to superintendents, building staff, property managers, homeowners, interested tenants, community gardeners and the local business community.”

Co-sponsored by State Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell, City Council Members Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine, Community Board 7, and West 80s Neighborhood Association, this session of Rat Academy will be held on Monday, June 24th, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Goddard Riverside Senior Center, 593 Columbus Avenue, between 88th and 89th Streets.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The Rat Academy also serves as a chance for New Yorkers to air their grievances.” Said the New Yorker of a prior session, “[the] presentation was a mixture of preventive measures and battle tactics…When the room [was opened up] for questions, the academy turned into a therapy session.”

“We are certainly trying to get a good turnout, since the number of rat issues has been on the rise, and this will probably only intensify in the summer,” said Liam Galligan, legislative aide to O’Donnell. “We will also be giving away 10 rat-resistant garbage cans.”

If you’d like to attend Rat Academy, please call 212-866-3970 to RSVP.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 11 comments | permalink
    1. Sean says:

      Absolutely. Because of you I am terrified to go out anywhere at all. If it isn’t one thing it’s another. Do the rats still like pizza?

      • Rat pizza says:

        Why Yes they do Stan, I took a few rats out that you may know very well the other day for lunch and they snatch that pizza up real fast. They seem to take a liking to Made In New York “Greasy” Pizza 🍕

    2. The W. 80th St. Block Association/Billy Amato says:

      Don’t let your dogs drink from these type of containers that are displayed in front of stores or on the sidewalks and in the parks. Especially the water fountains that have the water dish built into it. Draining Water fountain dishes don’t mean anything.
      Bring your own water dish with you on your walks and make sure your dog walker has one too with him. Remind your dog walker not to let your dog drink water from the fountain water dishes In the park.
      Make sure your dog has been Vaccinated and they are up to date.

      • Jen says:

        Seriously?! That’s your concern? I see I lot of people let their dogs drink directly from the fountains and lick them. Saw that happening way too many times. They intend for people. I think we should be worried about humans respecting other humans first before worrying that dogs drink from the water sources intended for humans.

        • Seriously says:

          Seriously Jen !!!!
          Screw the humans!
          We have to take care of our pooch first and you last.

    3. Rat A. Tooey says:

      Yo! About yer “rat prevention and management”?

      Youse ain’t managing dis rat! No way! Awreddy in Rat Kindygarden the teechur called me un-man…err…un-man-aj…err…difficult!

      And prevention? Ha!! Youse can’t prevent us; we breed like bun-nees…and even if ya did, dere’s still our cuzzins…da Meeses!

      Yup, we be a scourge (whatever dat is) and we’s un-stop-abab-pable !

      Mmmmhahahaaaaaaaaa!

      P.S.: yup, we still like pizza!

    4. yoyo says:

      It takes TWO hours to advise people how to manage rats? I had a college professor teach James Joyce’s “Ulysses” in that amount of time.

      It sounds useful, but…

      • Carrie says:

        Yoho, hilarious: thank you.
        On another note, my super has installed some sort of rat-repellant noise machine that is low pitched, undulating, and driving us crazy. Is there a law about torture by sound machine? He denies it is here. Is there a city agency that deals with this sort of nuisance?

        • B.B. says:

          One, those machines don’t work. You can search the web to find videos of rats paying them no attention at all. Maybe at first rodents will avoid any area with a strange new noise, but soon as they grow accustomed…. For goodness sakes trains make far more noise than those machines, and subways are full of rats.

          Two, don’t think noise complaints covers these devices and or sounds produced. But you can always call 311 and file a complaint.

    5. B.B. says:

      I’ll say it again; as NYC moves towards a more temperate (and constantly moist) climate the rat/mouse population is set to explode.

      Increasingly we do not have long cold winters, thus rats and mice can reproduce pretty much all year long.

      There is plenty of food everywhere from plastic bags, over flowing garbage cans and other wast not properly disposed of, and or in ways that is vermin proof.

      The parks and all this new greenery city is creating are thriving in the warm city climate complete with copious amounts of rain, so there is plenty of “natural” food sources for rats or mice. Central Park and other city parks are particularly lush after a very wet spring and now early summer.

      Other issues are simply related to high (and increasingly higher) density living as more and more people pour into Manhattan. This only creates more garbage from both individuals and businesses. But there is the issue of the near constant construction going on all over Manhattan.

      If it isn’t buildings being torn down and redeveloped, it’s ConEd, Verizon the city or someone else digging up the ground. Norway rats are burrowing creatures, thus whenever you disturb the earth, it flushes them out of their nests to seek other areas.

      Giving away ten “rodent proof” garbage containers is a good start, but unless or until city stops allowing residential and food businesses to throw out waste in plastic bags things won’t change much.