New York has always been forced to coexist with the four-legged vermin, but the infestation has expanded exponentially in recent years, spreading to just about every corner of the city.
Rat sightings reported to the city’s 311 hotline have soared nearly 38 percent, to 17,353 last year from 12,617 in 2014, according to an analysis of city data by OpenTheBooks.com, a nonprofit watchdog group, and The New York Times. In the same period, the number of times that city health inspections found active signs of rats nearly doubled.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, like mayors before him, has declared war on rats, but so far the city is still losing…
But after dropping last year, rat sightings are again on the upswing. The top spot for rat sighting complaints has been the Upper West Side, where residents are known for speaking up, followed by four Brooklyn neighborhoods: Prospect Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick and Ocean Hill. (Find your neighborhood on an interactive map here.)