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City Council Responds to 'Alarming Reports' of Rat Outbreaks Following Hurricane Sandy

Councilwoman Jessica Lappin has moved to pass a bill that will eradicate rats at no cost to property owners

 

Following reports that Hurricane Sandy sent droves of the rodents scurrying inland, with many of them taking up residence in new neighborhoods, the New York City Council is calling for a publicly financed program to eradicate rats, reported The New York Times.

New York City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin is pushing the council to pass a bill that will bait, trap and kill rats, after receiving “alarming” reports from her constituents on the upper East Side and on Roosevelt Island regarding a sudden uptick in the number of rats on the streets and around their homes over the past few months.

Additionally, an analysis of 311 calls shows residents in neighborhoods of the Lower East Side, Lower Manhattan, Greenpoint, Coney Island and Carroll Gardens/Red Hook filed 70 complaints over the same time period last year.

With the support of Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Lappin is asking the City to conduct a six-month, $500,000 remediation program at no additional cost to property owners—similar to a successful city effort in the parks in 2011.

“It’s just gotten so bad,” said Timothy Wong, a managing partner with M&M Environment, a pest-control company. Wong said he helped one family in Harlem who had abandoned their home for a hotel over the weekend, until his company could come out this past Monday.

“So many calls. It’s just crazy,” said Wong.

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