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NYC aims to drain ‘rat reservoirs’ after extermination attempts fail

This undated photo shows a rat in the a

Rats in New York City are concentrated in pockets called “rat reservoirs” where they have access to food, water and reproduce. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (PIX11) – New York City’s rat population is notorious, but some rodents are so resilient, that the city has to take another whack at them.

So-called rat reservoirs are the target of a new city health department initiative aimed at getting rid of the boroughs’ rodent residents.

Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett announced the plan this week. About $611,000 from the health department’s budget will go toward the effort.

Rat reservoirs are hubs of rodent populations that have rebounded after failed extermination attempts, the health department said.

Access to food and water help to create these rat reservoirs, which are often found underneath parks and in subways where the critters can burrow.

Health officials have their eyes on parts of north Manhattan and the south Bronx that have chronic rat problems.

They will try to get rid of these populations in cases where private owners can’t nix the rodents on their own and extermination hasn’t worked in the past.

Rat reservoirs are not in every neighborhood. Populations in some areas, particularly low-income communities with poor housing conditions, are greater than others, Bassett said.

The health department has created an interactive map in which New Yorkers can plug in a location and see the building’s rodent inspection history. To find out more about where you live, work or eat, click here.

Residents are urged to be aware of potential rodent infestation. Droppings and gnaw marks in wood and plastic garbage cans are signs that rats are in the area.

If you think you have a rat problem, health officials advise you to keep food in tightly sealed containers and bring garbage cans to the curb as close to pick up time as possible.

For more information on how to spot rodents and get rid of them, click here.

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