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These NYC neighborhoods have been deemed 'rat mitigation zones'

They’re receiving extra help from NYC to eliminate their rat populations.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

Some NYC neighborhoods are so rodent-infested that they are dubbed “rat mitigation zones.”

Since 2017, the Department of Health has been giving this label to certain neighborhoods that need help with rat elimination but only as of last year is the city required to publicize which ones, according to Curbed.

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This year, the zones are Chinatown, East Village, Lower East Side, Grand Concourse, Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Prospect Heights, and new this year, Harlem.

A map of NYC rat mitigation zones
Map: courtesy of NYC DCAS

What this really means is that these neighborhoods will receive extra help getting rid of rats, including increased enforcement on properties that fail inspections and “rat academy” training, according to Curbed.

This is just another function of NYC’s rat mitigation plan, which really began in earnest once Mayor Eric Adams stepped into office. He’s been on a tirade against them, saying things like “the rats don’t run the city, we do” and “every New Yorker knows by now, I hate rats and I’m looking to kill and get rid of rats in the city.”

He’s onto something, though. In October 2022, it was reported that rat sightings across the city had increased by 71% since the fall of 2020. 

Seeing that, the City Council presented a five-point “Rat Action Plan” to try and solve the issue. The plan included doubling down on rat mitigation zones, requirements for buildings to use rodent-proof trash bins and a new associated system of violations in response to possible refusals to do so.

Additionally, the city recently announced limits on how long trash bags can sit on a sidewalk (pushing curbing bags to 8pm), the installation of new giant garbage bins across the five boroughs and the dismantling of dining sheds. It also hired a “rat czar” to lead the war against the rodents.

And, if you didn’t know, there’s a city-run information portal that highlights up-to-date inspection results and follow-up actions through an interactive map. You can find the portal right here, where you can search by address, borough, block, lot number or neighborhood and look up specific rat inspection history.

Maybe if we all do our part to clean up NYC, the rats will pack their bags and go.

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