Pest complaints in New York rise as COVID-19 restrictions ease

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They are once again denounced!

Rodent complaints have increased in the Big Apple as life slowly returns to normal with the easing of restrictions on COVID-19, Bloomberg reported.

The number of vermin calls to the city’s 311 helpline in March jumped 80% from the same month last year – when lockouts were implemented and restaurants closed restaurants inside, the outlet reported.

There were 2,906 complaints just last month. By comparison, in March 2019, a year before the pandemic even began, 2,395 complaints were filed that month.

Experts say rodents are ready to feast after the pandemic brought them a year of relative food shortage.

“Rodents don’t work well when they don’t have food,” Jim McHale Jr. of JP McHale Pest Management told The Post on Sunday.

“In fact, they will cannibalize each other. They will run to other regions. “

McHale said the pandemic had caused a “defection of traditional food sources” for rodents.

“That’s why the sightings increased, because they went to parks, they went to residential trash cans. You know, they had to sort of paradigm shift to feed themselves, ”he said.

The pandemic gave them carte blanche to explore other businesses that were no longer bustling – such as hotels and trade offices, experts said.

Rat torn garbage lies outside Chipotle's restaurant on Court Street
Rubbish torn apart by rats lies outside Chipotle’s restaurant on Court Street.
Getty Images

“Because things were closed and the capacity was at an all-time low, the vibrations and just the general activity are going down, and it’s a signal to rodents that” Hey, that’s a good place to go out ”. They don’t like when people are there, ”McHale said.

Rats and mice made up the majority of vermin complaints last month, according to data from the city’s non-emergency hotline.

Brooklyn led the city in terms of the borough with the most complaints, followed by Manhattan and Queens, according to the data.

McHale said he expected the rats to return to their old playground this summer as restaurants and other businesses resume.

“Unfortunately, we’re still monitoring it, and we’re not sure exactly what’s next, but there’s definitely a new normal… now that they’ve had this pandemic and have definitely adjusted their ways. “, did he declare.

A rat climbs a bench in the High Line Park in Manhattan
A rat climbs a bench in the High Line Park in Manhattan.
Getty Images

Benjamin Hottel of pest control company Orkin said he believes companies will scramble to control these unwanted guests.

“There will be greater pressure for restaurants with rodents as their business increases,” he told Bloomberg News.

The city’s health department did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

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