It’s an age-old problem in cities across America: rats. Reported sightings of the disease-carrying bug in New York City are high, the highest in over a decade.
Now Mayor Eric Adams has declared that rodents are public enemy #1.
“You know what, we’re going to kill rats,” he said. “Rats have no business in this town.”
In Adam’s latest attempt to tackle the city’s rampant rat problem, New Yorkers will be fined starting early next year if they dump their trash on the curb before 8 p.m., but is there really a way to stop the rats ?
When Inside Edition was looking for them recently, we found them everywhere.
And not just on the streets. We’ve even spotted rodents in high-end grocery stores and fancy restaurants.
At Agata & Valentina, a gourmet grocery store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, we found rodents climbing and crawling over this display of croutons in the store’s window after hours.
Inside Edition’s chief correspondent, Lisa Guerrero, tried to speak to a manager.
“Are you aware that you have a rodent problem?” she asked.
“No we have not. We don’t,” the manager replied.
“Well, two nights in a row, we saw several rodents in your store,” Guerrero said.
“You should speak to an owner,” he said before walking away.
We never heard from them again.
Many pizza lovers say that the best pie in all of New York City comes from John’s Pizzeria on Bleeker Street. For two consecutive nights, our cameras caught rodents chasing litter.
When we showed our video to a pizzeria manager, he said they would take care of the problem immediately and run a routine wipeout service once a week.
Not far away at the popular Buvette in the West Village, which also has locations in London, Tokyo and Paris, we also saw rodents hunting after customers left, including at a dining area.
A manager there did not want to speak to Inside Edition. We got in touch but never heard from them either.
Many blame the growing rodent population on outdoor dining sheds erected during the pandemic to encourage alfresco dining. On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, we watched rats take over a strip of restaurant sheds.
“Humans produce garbage that is food potential for the rats, so they want to be close to where they can eat right away, just like we want to be close to our favorite restaurants,” said Alan Guy, rat expert at M&M Pest Control Inside edition.
He says keeping the rats off the sidewalks is an enormous challenge, but with hard work it is possible to keep them off restaurants.
We also contacted the city administration, but never received an answer.