Cute, if you ignore the whole plague-spreading thing. via Flickr user artmonstergirl

If you’ve noticed the friendly family of rats living in your recycling bin has added a few extra members lately, you’re not alone. It seems Hurricane Sandy sent rats running amok all over the city, and they’ve been particularly intent on making new homes in waterfront neighborhoods like Greenpoint, Coney Island, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook with 311 complaints about the little guys skyrocketing over the past few months. We assumed we’d just have to open up our hearts, homes and trash cans to them, but it turns out City Council has a plan to stop the rats from overthrowing city government and ruling with an iron fist spreading.

Councilwoman Jessica Lappin has proposed the city spend $500,000 to rid itself of these extra rats by hiring more exterminators (wait, we can keep our trash cans?) Lappin says the rat insurgence poses a pretty serious health problem in the city, since they’re making their way into restaurant kitchens and private homes, and eating establishments have seen an uptick in health department ticketing and shutdowns.

This is especially problematic for restaurants in areas that got walloped by Sandy, and have already had a hard time getting back on their feet. “In these communities that were hard-hit, where not everybody is even back in their homes, and communities where we’ve seen upticks where people are struggling, that’s where we should be spending our resources,” Lappin said. “Not in ticketing people, but the city should be doing some treatment and remediation.” Perhaps it’s a good idea to avoid waterfront restaurants for a little while. In other news, it looks like extermination companies will have some job openings soon, so there’s always that silver lining.

[h/t Animal New York]

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1 COMMENT

  1. I moved to Red Hook just before Sandy. Its the first time in 20 years I am living on the ground floor and I have to say I was a bit worried about unwanted visitors… So I started feeding the local feral cats on my deck. About two weeks ago a few possums joined the nightly menagerie of critters showing up at the “all you can eat buffet”. Last night I even had a Raccoon. I keep feeding them and there have been absolutely no rats so far.

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