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When rats are a neighborhood problem, a coordinated response is required

Whatever triggered the problem of rodents in the vicinity of Atlantic Yards, the community will have to work together to address the circumstances that sustain it.

Construction adds to the problem of controlling rodents because the homes of existing rodent populations are disturbed and new sources of food are created on an ongoing basis.  Recent complaints about the impossibility of doing street cleaning in the vicinity of illegal construction worker parking is one example.

Setting construction aside, the Department of Health website has useful information describing how neighbors must work with government to fight against rodents, all of which are relevant to the community around the project:  

Rats can be a property, block or neighborhood problem and require a coordinated response:  property owners, tenants, businesses and government need to work together.  Everyone has a part to play.

  • Property owners and businesses must maintain their garbage - the number one source for rats to get their essential food - in containers that are rodent-proof until it's picked up.
  • Tenants must do the same in the houses and apartments, and also ensure that they do not litter their yards or the street.

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.  Rats like to build nests or burrows in the earth and prefer traveling along the same paths over and over–often using building foundations walls, fences and bushes to find their way.To keep rats out of your property or neighorhood, you and your neighbors can take steps to make life more difficult for rats:

  • Clean up:  Garbage and clutter give rats a place to hide.
  • Store all garbage in hard plastic rat-resistant containers with lids.  Rats eat your garbage.
  • Provide enough trash containers for all of the occupants of your building.  Any exposed trash will attract rats.
  • Keep landscaped areas around your property free of tall weeds and trim shrubs that are close to the ground.
  • Check for cracks or holes in the foundation of your building, sidewalk, and under doors and repair them by filling and sealing them.

To download the Department of Health's Rat Guide in English or Spanish, click here.