While we’d argue that New York City is the best city, you can’t always have the good without the bad, and when we say bad we’re referring to those pesky, four-legged menaces that like to jump out at us in the middle of the night (or at virtually any hour of the day)…aka the city’s dreaded rats. According to city data NYC’s rat problem is the worst it’s been in over a decade, and the city’s reported rodent sightings are just further proof.
Each year RentHop collects data from four major U.S. cities to analyze the levels of rodent activity in the area, and this year rodent complaints were analyzed within NYC, Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C. According to their findings, three of these cities are projecting to receive more rodent complaints overall this year compared to last year, and unfortunately–but not surprisingly–NYC was one of them.
This means that at this rate, NYC will end the year with an overall higher amount of rodent activity compared to last year’s findings.
This year’s rodent complaints have been reported to 311 a total of 35,127 times compared to 37,008 times last year, but being this year’s data was collected in October, there’s still time for more rodent complaints to pile up and blow 2021’s numbers out of the water–which is what’s projected to happen.
When looking at NYC rodent sightings more closely, the data was broken down further by borough. From 2017 to now, rats seem to flock to Brooklyn much more than the city’s other boroughs. Brooklyn rodent sightings have increased 28.27% compared to this time last year, and 4.57 rodent complaints are received per 1,000 Brooklyn residents.
Though rat sightings are reported the most in Brooklyn, they continue to dominate Manhattan in much higher concentrations. So far this year, residents have reported rat sightings 8,934 times in Manhattan, a 23.79% increase compared to last year. In this borough there are 5.27 complaints per every 1,000 residents.
The Bronx reports 3.44 complaints per 1,000 residents, while Queens reports 2.28 complaints per 1,000 residents. As for Staten Island, this borough reportedly experiences the least rat sightings.
As for when rodent sightings are most popular, it seems like rats love to hit the city streets in the warmer months just as much as we do–sightings drastically increase throughout the summer months, particularly in July. This is likely due to trash sitting out in the heat for long periods of time, creating what was iconically dubbed the “all-you-can-eat rat buffet” at a press conference last month where NYC Mayor Eric Adams proposed new NYC trash rules in an attempt to curb these sightings.
The neighborhoods that received the most rodent complaints so far in 2022 are as follows:
- Harlem South, Manhattan – 863 complaints, 1,665 complaints/sq mi
- Upper West Side-Manhattan Valley, Manhattan – 704 rat complaints, 1,486 complaints/sq mi
- Upper East Side – Yorkville, Manhattan – 448 rat complaints, 918 complaints/sq mi
- Upper West Side (Central), Manhattan – 820 rat complaints, 899 complaints/sq mi
- Bushwick (West), Brooklyn – 684 rat complaints, 824 complaints/sq mi
On the contrary, rodent complaints dropped the most in the following neighborhoods:
- Pelham Bay Park, Bronx – 6 complaints in 2021, 2 in 2022 (-100%)
- Yankee Stadium-Macombs Dam Park, Bronx – 10 complaints in 2021, 2 in 2022 (-80.8%)
- Tribeca-Civic Center, Manhattan – 162 complaints in 2021, 72 in 2022 (-55.7%)
- Claremont Village-Claremont (East) – 72 complaints in 2021, 32 in 2022 (-55.5%)
- Co-op City, Bronx – 16 complaints in 2021, 8 in 2022 (-53.3%)
Alas, as the rat problem unfortunately continues to rise, all we need to do in a time like this is remember one thing–rats don’t run this city, we do!