Rat Inspections: Terms and Practices

The Rat Information Portal is a web-based mapping application where users can view rat inspection data. Findings from the Health Department's inspections are searchable by address, or by borough, block and lot (BBL). You can use the map tools to find information about properties on the map.

For help using the portal, read the Quick Start Guide(PDF).

Common Terms in Rat Inspection Reports

  • Initial Inspection: Inspections conducted in response to a 311 complaint, or a proactive inspection conducted through our neighborhood indexing program.

  • Active Rat Signs: Includes any of the following signs:
    • Fresh tracks
    • Fresh droppings
    • Active burrows
    • Active runways and rub marks
    • Fresh gnawing marks
    • Live rats

  • Problem Conditions: Includes garbage (poor containerization of food waste resulting in the feeding of rats), harborage (clutter and dense vegetation promoting the nesting of rats) and mice.

  • Compliance Inspection: If a property fails its initial inspection, the Health Department will conduct a follow-up inspection.

  • Baiting: Application of rodenticide bait, or other monitoring visits by a Health Department pest professional.

  • Cleanup: The removal of garbage and clutter from a property by the Health Department.

Additional Inspection Information

On the Rat Information Portal, you can get information about the most recent inspections, compliance, baitings and clean-ups on any given property from as far back as September 2009. Be sure to check the date of a failed inspection, as the property owner may have fixed the problem.

Properties fail inspections when any signs of rats are found. Not all properties have an equally severe problem.

Sometimes, despite an owner's best efforts, a property may fail an initial inspection due to the continued presence of rats on their block. Rats rarely exist on a single property. Getting rid of them often requires a neighborhood response.

Complaints about rats in parks, public housing and schools are directed to those City agencies for follow-up. The Health Department may proactively inspect these properties through the indexing program. With the exception of large parks, our findings are shown on the indexing maps.

More Information