Letty, you may be thinking of the infestation in New York last spring.
Rat invasion angers nabe
BY DENISE ROMANO and MELISSA GRACE
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Dead rat on sidewalk outside construction site on Luquer St. in Carroll Gardens yesterday. Residents have complained about pesky rodents for months.
A Carroll Gardens block has been taken over by rats, and the city Health Department has done little to combat the menacing pests, residents say.
Since a demolition project began on a Luquer St. lot last fall, rats have made the street their home, scurrying around in broad daylight, diving into garbage cans and nesting in car engines.
"They sit there and look at you; they are not afraid," said Lisa Demaio, 29.
To get inside her building, the mother of two young girls said she's forced to throw bottles "to scatter the rats."
Yesterday, a rodent lay dead next to three overturned traps in front of the lot.
"That rat has been there for 36 hours," said Alison Carrabba, 37, who lives on the block between Hamilton Ave. and Clinton St. "This is a serious health and safety issue, and there has been little to no response - until today."
Neighbors said they called the city's 311 complaint line repeatedly over the past several months, but that Health Department officials showed up only this week - after the Daily News called to inquire about the response.
"Everybody in my building has called," said Alison Carrabba, 37, who lives in a six-unit building.
Health Department officials insist there have been 20 rat inspections in response to complaints on Luquer St.
"In that time, we have aggressively exterminated catch basins and other properties in the area," a spokesman said.
An inspector was sent out again Wednesday because of a recent complaint. Property owners for four buildings were issued letters informing them there was evidence of droppings and rat burrowing.
Residents believe the rats were stirred up by the demolition work at 100 Luquer St., where an 11-story condominium tower is set to rise.
An owner of the lot agreed - but said there is little he can do.
"Rats are not something we can control," said Moses Gross, a partner on the construction project.
Gross said his office has hired an exterminator, who is set to begin work next week after receiving repeated calls from neighbors.
"I don't think it will help," he said. "Every time you do a demolition, they come out."
The problem in Hamilton, Ontario is limited to the area of about 50 homes in a couple block section. Considerable sewer work has been going on in the area and it thought that this has caused the current problem. Plans are under way to erradicate the rats.