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How To Prevent A Rat Infestation On Your Block in Brooklyn? | JP McHale
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How To Prevent A Rat Infestation On Your Block in Brooklyn?

Despite everything the city and their building management have tried, a serious rat problem isn’t going away from Brooklyn. In addition to destroying property and equipment, mice and rats can contaminate food and spread disease through their urine and droppings.

Rat control is everyone’s responsibility. Without continuing sanitation and good housekeeping practices on your block, the rats will keep reoccurring, even after the best rat extermination programs. That’s why it’s important that everyone in your community works together to prevent rat infestation; residents, local business owners, schools and local stores. Here are some tips from JP McHale on how to become your neighborhood’s leader and tackle the rat problem, hands-on, for the best long-term results.

1. Organize Your Block and Hold a Meeting on The Rat Infestation Problem

Go from door to door and get your neighbors signed up and committed to combating the infestation and attend a meeting on the problem. Be prepared for a large turn-up. If you have a rat problem, all your neighbors have it too!

2. Appoint a Rat Inspector on Your Block. Send Them to the “Rat Academy” Meeting.

The city hosts half-day trainings that cover all the basics and best practices of pest management — and they’re free. Hosted by the Department of Health, the trainings are geared towards teaching homeowners, building staff and residents how to combat rat infestations using a variety of strategies. If you and your neighbors want to attend, just gather a minimum of 20 people and ask the DOH to host one for you. Or, you can join an academy that’s already scheduled. Those interested in a deeper dive into rat management can attend a free three-day course, complete with homework and field trips, also free and sponsored by the city.

To sign up for either option, send an email to ratportal@health.nyc.gov or call 311.

3. Distribute Educational Materials About Rat Extermination

Education is an important first step. If there are no takers for the ‘Rat Academy’, you can contact the Department of Health and ask them to send you some free leaflets that cover best practices for rat extermination. Distribute them around your block and educate your neighburs about the best rodent prevention practives.

  • Rats can survive on food grease alone, so clean up grease with a bleach-and-water solution.
  • Rats can get inside a space the size of a quarter, so sealing up holes outside the property is essential.
  • Ivy and overgrown brush create ideal conditions for rats to dig under them and create burrows in the ground.

4. Make Sure Your Block Uses The Right Trash Cans

Make sure your building is using rodent proof metal trash cans with tight-fitting covers or at least put garbage out closer to the actual pickup time. Another good way to make sure your trash is not attracting any rats is to remove the organic waste — such as uneaten meat, stale bread, tea bags, banana peels or any leftover food.

Within the past 12 months, the Department of Sanitation launched a pilot program for organics collection in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. In addition, public schools and nonprofit organizations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens have participated. Participants separate organic waste and put it in sealed plastic bins for separate pickup by the Department of Sanitation. Check whether your block is within a pilot area here.

5. Finding a good NYC Exterminator

Call a pest management professional as soon as possible. The quicker you act, the smaller the problem and the easier the treatment. A licensed professional must do baiting to rid rats.