Councilmember strikes back against growing Bushwick rat problem
Bushwick residents are saying that a rodent problem in their neighborhood is only getting worse.
One resident, Michael Misiewicz, says that he has a rat problem, and that his house is surrounded by rat burrows that end up inside his unfinished basement.
“I have a little camera system to try to watch them,” says Misiewicz, “and I wake up and there’s like 50 notifications on my phone.”
Rats are a known issue in the area, and neighborhood residents say that the issue has grown much worse over the last few years.
They say part of the problem is trash left on the sidewalk and in the street that attracts the rats to the area and into people’s homes.
Councilmember Sandy Nurse partnered with Bushwick’s Community Board 4 and the Department of Health to host a “rat academy” this week – a workshop to teach people about rats and how to keep them away.
In its budget adopted last month, City Council approved $4.8 million for rat mitigation, on top of $22 million allocated to emptying city litter bins twice a day.
Councilmember Nurse also introduced a package of bills that would strengthen the city’s rat mitigation plans.
“This legislation would formalize these zones and really require the department of health every year to show us what they're doing, how is the money being spent, what are the strategies being used,” said Nurse.
She hopes the council will vote to pass the bills soon, but to solve the problem, she says everyone will have to do their part.