New York City Rats

Educational Resources about New York City Rats

Why Are There So Many Rats In NYC?

Rats are a species that have a mixed relationship with people, and while people are generally repulsed by the thoughts of having rats in their area, the truth is that rats have really thrived in the areas where there are more people. The key to this success is that the areas that have a dense population of people also tend to have a much larger range of food sources that the rats can scavenge from, and this leads to conflict on a regular basis. The other issue with rats is that they can carry and transmit diseases in a range of ways, and this can have an impact on the health of the population, especially in a densely populated city such as New York.

How Did The Rats Arrive In The City?

Rats have long had an almost parasitic relationship with people, as they often feed on the scraps and the garbage that people throw away, while some rats may hit the motherlode and find an unattended store of food that they can use. Rats are believed to have been brought to New York, and the United States, on the ships that brought the first European explorers to these shores, and that the species has had a foothold in the city ever since. The prolific breeding of rats can then make it very difficult indeed to fully exterminate a rat population in a city such as New York.

Factors That Affect The Populations Growth Of Rats

One of the main aspects of an area that will have an impact on the rat population will be the food sources available, and if there is not enough food then that will have a limiting effect on the rat population. However, in New York there are certainly no shortage of potential food sources, with garbage cans and dumpsters throughout the city, along with various other sources the rats can use. The other aspect is the weather, as very cold periods cause a significant mortality in the rat population, but in some areas such as New York, rats can find a warm nest and easily accessible food that make it easier for the rats to survive these cold snaps.

Distinctive Features Of New York

There are several factors that can have an impact on how appropriate a habitat that a city can provide for its rat population, and a survey by the Animal Planet TV channel named New York as the worst city for rats in the world. A big part of this is down to the fact that it is one of the oldest cities in the region, and the sanitary systems and building practices were rarely built with limiting pest animals as a part of the plan. Along with this, factors such as the human population patterns and the climate of the region have also had an impact in making the city such a breeding ground for rats.

Solving Your Rat Problem

Rats can cause a range of different diseases, and it is important to deal with a rat problem quickly once you spot signs of rat activity, and while repellents may claim to work, they rarely provide a solution to a rat problem. Trapping is the most common way to deal with rats, and laying several snap traps around the different areas of your home where there are signs of rat activity, or in the dark areas where they are likely to hide, can help to solve the problem. As you would expect, New York also has a population of professional rat catchers, who can help you to deal with the infestation if you don’t have the stomach or the time to carry out this type of work.

New York City Rats Are Getting Bigger - Truth Or Myth?

New York is a city that has an awful lot going for it, from its wonderful cuisine through to the thriving entertainment and cultural scene, but it isn’t just the attractions in the city that are bigger and better than those found elsewhere in the United States. The rats in New York are often a subject for debate among the locals, and from time to time the local media will carry stories of giant rats that have been found in the city, or rats stealing large amounts of food such as a full slice of pizza. However, one factor that is often discussed is whether or not the rats in the city are really getting bigger, or if they have a growing population in the city.

How Have Conditions For Rats Changed In New York Over Recent Decades?

One of the biggest factors that will have an impact on whether or not rats can evolve and grow larger than their ancestors will be their surroundings, and particularly the food sources and the potential threats that the animals face. Officials in New York have conceded that large amounts of garbage in areas where there are restaurants are a big problem, and that these dumpsters provide an ample source of food for hungry rats. There are also a growing number of reports of rat infestations around the city, and city budgets that have been reduced has meant that work to maintain and kill rat populations in public areas have become less frequent, meaning that rats can grow to an older age.

Are Rats Really Getting Larger?

This is a difficult question to answer, as it is almost a natural human trait to exaggerate or believe that something shocking that they have seen is greater than what they have seen in the past. Studies that have been carried out on the rat catching work that is carried out did identify one specimen that weighed in at around one and a half pounds, which is typically among the largest rats that will be found in cities around the world. There are other stories of giant rats, but images will often show an animal other than a giant rat, such as a capybara or another species of rodent.

The Growth In New York’s Rat Population

The rat population in New York does tend to fluctuate depending on the approach to dealing with the problem, and there are certainly fewer city employees that are currently trying to catch and kill the rats in the city. However, rats have been a problem in New York for centuries, and the fact that it is one of the oldest cities in the country means that the infrastructure such as sewers make it easier for rats to move around. Overall, with the number of people in the city growing, it is likely that the rat population in New York is also continuing to grow.

Examples Of Huge Rats In The City

The rats in New York are not just growing, but they are also becoming less cautious around people, according to many of the rat catchers that are working in the city, and this means they are bolder when stealing food. One example to recently hit the headlines was in 2015, when the famous pizza rat was filmed dragging a slice of pizza longer than itself to a quite spot to eat. Another example showed a rat on a subway which jumped on to seats looking for food. There is no doubt that rats are a growing problem in the city, and if you are living in New York then you may have to become used to dealing with rats on a regular basis.