Rats can be a problem for a single property, entire block or the whole neighborhood, so they require a coordinated response. Property owners, tenants, businesses and the City all need to work together to prevent rats.
Rats seek out places to live that provide them with everything they need to survive: food, water, shelter and safe ways for them to get around.
Garbage and clutter give rats a place to feed and hide. For other shelter, rats like to build nests or burrows in the earth. To safely get around, rats prefer traveling along the same paths over and over, often using building foundations, walls, fences and bushes to find their way.
The Neighborhood Rat Reduction Initiative is an effort by the Health Department and several other City agencies to improve neighborhood sanitation by eliminating the food, water and habitat that rats need to survive. The initiative addresses the underlying conditions that support rat colonies, while also employing traditional rat control measures. By dramatically reducing the available habitats and food sources in targeted areas, the numbers of rats will decline.
The initiative launched in the summer of 2017, focused on rat-infested zones in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan.
View rat inspection results and follow-up actions on our Rat Information Portal. Look up rat inspection history by address, borough, block and lot (BBL) number or by neighborhood.
Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Community District Managers, block associations, community groups and residents can work together to take actions to prevent infestation and respond to rats. Here is what you and your neighbors can do:
If rats continue to be a problem after taking these steps, consider hiring a pest management professional to service all of the properties or businesses on one block.