UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — Brooklyn exterminator Matt Deodato uses an uncommon extermination technique to help fix New York City’s rat problems.
Deodato pumps carbon monoxide into rat holes in sidewalk tree boxes. He said the method is only used by a few exterminators in the city because the machines cost roughly $3,000 each, but the results speak for themselves.
For the last year, he has been treating the tree boxes along East 86th Street between Second Avenue and Park Avenue, where several businesses have complained of rats.
“This area, over 100-something burrows we treated. We had, I’d average, a 90-95% success rate,” said Deodato.
Councilmember Julie Menin, who represents the Upper East Side, said her office did extensive research last year into alternative mitigation techniques and found that carbon monoxide was successfully used in Boston and San Diego. From there, she found Deodato.
After the initial treatment, Deodato said he would return every seven to 10 days until the rats were eradicated.
The longest he said that has taken him is three months. From there, it is up to businesses and residents to maintain the area so rats remain at bay.
Properly storing garbage and using materials like steel wire mesh to keep rats from re-burrowing are the most important maintenance efforts. Deodato compared the maintenance with going to the dentist.
“You’ve gotta take care of your teeth,” said Deodato. “If you don’t brush, you don’t take care, you’re going to get cavities. That’s what we tell people.”