photo credit: Mary Frost/Brooklyn Eagle
Rats are all over the Slope these days, which is evidence that either that we’re living in end times, or that the unsavory critters are as into fair-trade coffee as we are.
The Brooklyn Eagle took a look at the borough’s rat-stats, and determined that North Slope is as appealing to scavenging rodents as it is to the rest of us — using numbers from the Department of Health, they crowned us one of the rattiest hoods in Brooklyn:
In Zip code 11217, where Barclay’s Center is located, signs of rat infestation more than doubled — from 23 percent of inspected properties in 2006 to 59 percent in 2011.
That’s for 2011. Judging from the completely anecdotal evidence that yesterday I wanted to sit on my stoop but a rat beat me to it, the current numbers could easily be higher.
Which isn’t to say that 11217′s in it alone. While the mass rat-exodus from Atlantic Yards certainly doesn’t help matters, Central and South Slope — 11215 — also have thriving rat populations, and the papers reports that the overall Brooklyn rat-count now rivals that of the “notoriously ratty” Bronx.
But we’re not going to take it sitting down! How can we? The rats have taken our chairs.
To get the invasion under control, the Department of Health recommends “integrated pest management” — a multi-pronged approach that uses “elimination of food and water sources, good sanitation, proper storage of trash, rat-proof construction, snap traps, glue traps and preventing access to buildings.” A lot of those things are beyond our individual control, but the DOH assures us that they are on it.
In the meantime, Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Alliance, has been advising rat-addled homeowners to get rid of dense shrubbery and ground-covering ivy outside their houses — prime rat real estate.
As the rat-pocalypse threatens, how’ve you been holding up? Any clever rat-fighting tricks?