Rats are a fact of life in New York City and if you’re like us, maybe you’re even a little bit fascinated by them. It seems like others are too, with every few months another rat map appearing. This latest heat map by Meredith Myers (via The Verge), part of the Rat Reservoir Program even automatically updates with the latest open source data on 311 reported rat sightings. Here’s a closer look by borough of the last 10,000 rat sightings:
Lower Manhattan’s rat density is well documented in the book Robert Sullivan’s great NYC book, Rats, in which he spent months observing rats in a Financial District Alley just before 9/11:
The Upper West Side and the Upper East Side are additional Manhattan hotspots:
A swath of rat reportings in Brooklyn are from Bedford-Stuyvesant and part of Crown Heights:
Distribution in the Bronx is fairly even, though we are noticing a lack of reports on Hunts Point, even though a food source would be a likely habitat for rats. This may be perhaps the data is based on residential complaints, while the Hunts Point peninsula is predominantly industrial. The Verge also reports, based on an interview with New York Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Health Dan Kass that data can be skewed because some neighborhoods are more comfortable reporting complaints to the city.
For a relatively rat-free existence in New York City, looks like Staten Island is it:
Check the latest heat map on Meredith Myers’ website and to zoom in for more detail. Next, check out the maps showing the percentage of restaurants in each neighborhood with rat complaints. Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.