If you’re curious about rat activity in or around your building, check out the city’s “Rat Information Portal,” featuring an interactive map, which you can use to search your exact building and learn more about current and past rat activity. 

All you have to do is enter your address in the search bar and the tool will tell you when your building was last inspected for rats and whether it passed or failed inspection. 

When inspecting a building for active rodent and mouse activity, the NYC Health Department inspectors look at tracks, fresh droppings, borrows, active runs, fresh gnawing and live or dead rats. 

When searching, properties either come up shaded green, pink, purple, grey or white. 

Green means the property passed its last inspection. Pink means there was rat activity detected at the time of its last inspection. Purple means that other issues, such as loose garbage, clutter, overgrown vegetation or mice, caused it to fail its last inspection. Grey means that the property has not been inspected in the past six months. And white means that the property hasn’t been inspected since 2015. 

You can click on any of the properties, other than white-shaded properties, to view inspection history. 

After an inspection, if there are signs of rat activity, property owners are supposed to receive a letter from the city with information on the findings and guidance on how to fix the problems. About 10 days after the letter is mailed to the property owner, the Health Department is supposed to conduct a follow-up inspection. If the problems haven’t been fixed, the property owner could receive a summons. The Health Department is also allowed to treat these properties if the owner fails to do so, and property owners will be billed for the extermination services. 

Any resident can submit a rodent complaint to the city via 311. The city asks that you include a description of the problem and the address of the location. And, if the property isn’t in an area that is directly accessible to Health Department inspectors, such as in an apartment or backyard, the city asks that you include your contact information so that the inspector can schedule an inspection when you are there to grant access to the property. 

Featured image reused from this BD article.

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