Now we know some of the top rat gathering spots on the Upper West Side, thanks to Caroline Bragdon, Director of Neighborhood Interventions and Pest Control for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. During Monday’s Community Board 7 meeting, Bragdon disclosed four ‘areas of concern’ in the neighborhood, based on data collected since the beginning of 2023.
“So, what we did is we pulled all of the information that we have available for 2023 this calendar year. The first area of concern was Broadway from West 103rd to West 106th,” detailed Bragdon during her presentation. She presented data from 19 health department inspections in the area this year, 14 of which failed. “That’s pretty bad,” said the pest control director. Bragdon further mentioned that there have been four followup inspections, two of which have failed – later referring to this stretch of the neighborhood as a “rat reservoir.”
Bragdon mentioned receiving a letter from City Council Member Gale Brewer’s office about the next problem area: West 79th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. “It’s interesting this block, you can see there’s the north side of the block [which] passed all their inspections and the south side mostly failed. So, it’s definitely one particular set of properties. And a whole bunch of tree pits,” she explained. Thirteen out of 23 inspections have failed so far this year, with five of six failing their followups. Bragdon emphasized that tree pits have “historically been a big problem on the Upper West Side.” We agree.
West 71st Street between Broadway and Columbus Avenue was identified as another area of concern. Four out of six initial inspections failed, and then all four failed again in their followup inspections. Bragdon added, “Most of them failed recently in March and are currently being treated. You can see the addresses of the places that are on the treatment list.”
West 102nd Street between West End Avenue and Broadway also made the list. So far, seven of eight inspections failed this year and the two sites which had followup inspections failed again. This stretch also falls in rat reservoir territory.
Before concluding, Bragdon offered her availability to the community. “It’s summer, there’s lots of health fairs and events happening across the city. And if you want us there, we have a small but mighty little outreach team. Invite us, we’ll come out with a table and we’ll bring our brochures and our posters and talk to people and hopefully answer their questions.” The rat team can be reached at RatPortal@health.nyc.gov.