City Official Says Rats Damaging Tourism in NYC

by Libby Zay 
Posted Apr 6th 2011 09:30 AMUpdated Apr 6th 2011 10:53 AM




Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer says the rats that run rampant on New York City streets and in subway tunnels are a turn-off to tourists, and is demanding $1.5 million be restored to the budget to control the city's "horrific" problem.

Over the last year, Stringer says there has been a 1.5% increase in complaints about the rats on 311, the city service phone line for New York.

Stringer is urging Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials to wage a war against the pests before the problem comes back to "bite them."

"When rats walk down the street with their shoulders upright like they own the neighborhood, we have a problem," says Stringer, who was backed at a press conference by pest control workers who were recently laid off.

Mayor Bloomberg shot back at a separate press conference, saying rat numbers are down in areas where the city is focusing their efforts. He spoke highly of a new strategy that holds neighborhoods accountable instead of individual lots.

"We're doing the right thing and unfortunately, some of the elected officials just aren't as informed as I'd like them to be about what we're doing," says Bloomberg.

Stringer's announcement comes just after a new YouTube video of a rat running loose through a subway car emerged. In the video, screaming and giggling riders jumped on subway seats before the brazen critter escapes out the door and into a subway station.

Rats aren't the only pests turning tourists off from visiting New York. Reports of bed bugs invading places like the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel have surfaced, as well as retail stores that make popular tourist stops.

Filed Under: News

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April 06 2011 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey people of New York, if you want to get rid of rats, pay for it YOURSELF.

I live in New Orleans and the Formosan Termites treatment for the French Quarter was cut from the same budget along with your rat treatment. I don't think the feds should be paying for either. As a resident of New Orleans, it's our responsibility to pay to prevent termite damage to the historic French Quarter and YOU need to pay to rid YOUR city of rats.

April 06 2011 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Harry Hurt

How does one tell if a rat runs around with his shoulders up? They didn't seem to be up on that video. I think a good way to get rid of the rats is to put a good bounty on them. Then you will see trap sales go up. When a rat is caught, turn it in to the nearest garbage truck driver, get a receipt for it, and mail it in. Also, catching rats can be an assignment to law-breakers doing community service. A judge can "sentence you to catch 100 rats".

April 06 2011 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If Bloomberg dos'nt think there is a problem tell him to ride the subway or take the Chicken's way out and blame the public.

April 06 2011 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tourism in New York Is down because of you assholiness himself Weasel Bloomberg

April 06 2011 at 4:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only rat in NEW YORK is the ONE running your city. Let him go round em up!

April 06 2011 at 4:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bloomberg is too busy kowtowing to gays and gun oppenents , he doesn't have time for rats

April 06 2011 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rick Suddes

Spray Rataway Fragrance to protect from rats

April 06 2011 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You got that right, the only difference they wear suits in D. C. and live on our $

April 06 2011 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All you hear is New York is the greatest city in the world, especially from Letterman. Let me tell you,if you are wealthy and don't ever leave the millionaire area around Central Park, you will see the real New is worse than Detroit, it is a sewer, so if you plan on a vacation there this summer, go somewhere else. Rats are only a very small part of the problem. The people stack garbage on the sidewalks for days, and the are the rudist and most uppity class of jerks you will ever meet...L.A. has it's problems, but beats the hell out of New I don't live in California...

April 06 2011 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply