Rat Problems in New York City

Rats follow people and that's because people make a mess. We drop food all over the place, and we even leave it out as a wild animal open invitation in some cases. We don't take care of our properties enough, and rats are often left to their own devices for long periods of time, undetected by those who live alongside them. At the same time, the rat population is ever growing at quite he staggering speed, and those rats are wreaking havoc on your home. In some cases, the repair bill after these animals have been evicted had rolled into THOUSANDS of dollars, not just HUNDREDS.

What they don't eat, they soon contaminate with poop and urine, both of which carry some pretty nasty threats of disease, and that's why rats are so destructive. They are eating, gnawing, disease-spreading rodents. They can chew through electrical wiring with ease, wrecking home electrical circuits, causing fires and serious fire risks, and in cases of rats in the garage, they'll even chew through vehicle cables. That could mean your brake cables. Rats on your property are so much more than just unpleasant - they could potentially be deadly.

These rodents are scavengers, and they'll follow wherever the food is. New York City is just like so many other cities these days - heavily populated with both people and vermin, and humans are half the problem. In fact, they're all of it. If we all learn to clean up after ourselves and inspect our properties, these rats wouldn't have a chance to get in and become a burden, and that's what it takes to keep them at bay - serious rat-proofing of your home or commercial property.

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New York City rats are getting bigger

There seem to be more and more reports of New York City rats seemingly growing in size. In fact, it's an almost daily occurrence these days. However, if you have seen a report that New York City rats are growing to the size of your average household pet cat, your'e being lured in by yet another urban legend. Rats, despite growing numbers, are not growing in size quite that much.

One of the largest rats found during latest studies in New York have shown that they have grown in size somewhat over recent years. Weighing in at around a pound and a half, or about 675 grams, it seems these rodents have almost doubled in size. A few years ago, the average rat would have weighed in at about 250 grams for females, and a tad heavier at 350 grams for males. As you can tell, the latest New York City rat finds have left scientists scratching their heads a little.

There are easy explanations behind why the rat population seems to be growing in both size and numbers, however, particularly in heavily populated areas such as New York City. What is present in New York City, as well as plenty of other cities around the world? Humans, that's what. And humans are messy too, leaving pet cat and dog food all around the place, and garbage bags too. These are prime pickings for scavengers, such as rats, and because there is so much food on offer, the rats just keep eating. It is not unusual for rats to gorge and get a little tubby, particularly around the midriff.

Black rats are much smaller than their brown cousins, usually weighing in at around 150 to 250 grams in weight. You are less likely to encounter these black rats, also known as roof rats, house rats or ship rats, in heavily populated places such as New York City, however.

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Those whiskers, pink tails, and those "I'm coming for you" eyes are really scary. Rats are definitely a problem for countries and cities all over the planet. They have, since ancient times, caused more than one catastrophe. They affect and push the limits of entire populations. Is New York City escaping this? Find out here!

Is New York City facing an unstoppable plague? 

The rat problem has now reached such proportions that the US government has allocated huge amounts of money to deal with it. More than 30 million dollars have been used to put an end to these intruders, but they continue to multiply and adapt, making the whole population uncomfortable.

It is said that the plagues of rats in New York City are not a recent problem. The great number of rodents in the city is evidence that solving the problem could take a few decades, perhaps more than a century. It seems these little animals will keep on disturbing the city's inhabitants for quite a long time.

What does the research say?

Several studies have tried to find the cause of this uncontrollable rat problem in New York City. They have concluded that climate change could be the culprit. 

There is also a suspicion that this plague could be caused by an invasion of rats in previous centuries, which multiplied and adapted to the movement of the city. 

Studies by the New York City Health Department reveal that at least 8% of homes in the city may have traces of rats. This is an alarming figure, considering the number of inhabitants within the city. 

However, when it comes to rats, it is even more common for them to move and settle in areas such as:

  • Parks: Where they can set up their burrows.
  • Sewers: Which makes it easier for them to move from one place to another.
  • Subway: Subway tracks may be the best way for these rodents to move around the city.

How do these rats survive in New York City? 

Rats have a much greater ability to adapt than other animals. They can adapt to any habitat and circumstance. Their great sense of smell has allowed them to associate the smell of poison with death. This is why they completely avoid these smells and avoid eating poisoned food.

Besides, climate change has produced not so aggressive winters, allowing them to reproduce earlier than usual. They have also increased in weight and size, making cats or other domestic pets that protect New Yorkers' homes almost useless.

Some measures that the government has taken to address the rat problem in New York City 

  • Allocated more than $30 million to develop an elimination program for this infestation.
  • Increased the frequency of trash collection in the city.
  • Created a team specializing in the extermination of rats.

The number of rats that can be found on the streets of New York is alarming. In fact, there is not an exact number of rats in the city; it is suspected that the number could almost multiply the number of human inhabitants, and not only in New York City, but it is expanding to different cities in the United States, such as Philadelphia, Chicago and Seattle.

The statistics are not favorable for New York City and the chances of eliminating the rat population completely are decreasing each day.