The Upper East Side is the third rattiest neighborhood in New York City, according to an analysis of 311 complaints. While the rapid growth of rat sightings has slowed somewhat since last year, the trend continues to go in the wrong direction — despite new efforts just signed into law by Mayor Eric Adams.
“I have made it clear, I hate rats. And we are going to kill some rats,” Mayor Adams explained on Friday, after signing a package of four bills on Friday that take aim at the nuisance rodents.
“Rat-free streets are vital to vibrant neighborhoods and our city’s economic recovery.”
Rodent complaints are up more than 11% citywide this year compared to last, according to a report by RentHop, an apartment search website which reviewed 311 data. That’s a steep drop from the 28% spike in sightings across the five boroughs from 2020 to 2021, but still accounts for more than 35,000 complaints this year and continues to rise.
In Manhattan, the numbers are far worse according to the report, with rat complaints up nearly 24% year to year — pointing to higher density of complaints among the island’s population as proof of a higher number of rats.
“I think every New Yorker can tell you their rat story. If you walk down the block and a rat runs across your foot, you never forget it. Every time you walk down that block, you relive that,” said Mayor Adams.
“For whatever reason, I don’t know what it is, rats do something to traumatize you and you never live through it.”
On the Upper East Side, rat sightings are up 10 to 15 percent depending on the part of the neighborhood. Yorkville moved up one spot to earn the dubious destination of the third-most rat-infested neighborhood in the city.
With a total of 918 complaints per square mile, Yorkville trails only Central Harlem and the Upper West Side above 96th Street in terms of rodent sightings.
The Upper East Side is also home to a single address with the third most rodent complaints in all of New York City — the Metropolitan Museum of Art located at 1000 Fifth Avenue.
A total of 74 rat sightings were reported at The Met so far this year — thats down from the same time last year — it is also important to remember the address includes the large outdoor plaza and sidewalk in front of the museum.
As for tackling the growing rodent problem in the city, the bills Mayor Adams signed into law include measures requiring the Health Department to issue annual reports on rat mitigation efforts and designate so-called ‘rat mitigation zones’ within the city.
Under the new laws, buildings within the city that receive two or more rodent specific violations will also be required to keep their garbage in containers and construction sites will need to hire exterminators before receiving permits for certain work.
“This legislation doubles down on our efforts and is another important step to put a dent in our rodent population,” said Mayor Adams.
“We’re making clear that rats don’t run our city. New Yorkers do.”