Grand Concourse a battleground in mayor’s war on rats

Posted: Updated:
GRAND CONCOURSE -

A 5-mile stretch of the Grand Concourse is part of a citywide effort to dramatically kill rats in the Big Apple.

The mayor's $32 million plan aims to reduce rat populations by up to 70 percent. Rather than just poisoning rats, the city plans to destroy their habitats and deprive them of food.

This comes after at least three cases of leptospirosis -- a potentially deadly disease spread through rat urine -- in Melrose over the winter. One of the cases was traced to 750 Grand Concourse.

The city Department of Health says leptospirosis is very rare in New York. Less than 30 cases have been diagnosed since 2006, but at least one was fatal.

The plan builds on Mayor Bill de Blasio's 2014 effort to manage rodent populations.

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