Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), along with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) and Councilman Andrew Cohen (D-Bronx), sponsored a special city Department of Health workshop Thursday night at Van Cortlandt Jewish Senior Center that offered safe and effective methods for rat prevention to community members.
The unique class was organized after residents voiced their concerns over numerous rat disturbances in the area, including on Stevenson Place, just a block away from where the Rat Academy was held. The rodents are attracted to the retaining wall on that street, which provides a good place for them to burrow, a DOH representative explained at the class. Other locations visited and occupied by rats could be found online here. The DOH encouraged the participants to visit the website’s “Rat Information Portal” to learn where the animals are active in their neighborhood.
“It’s time to tackle our rat problem head on by educating everyone about the best ways to keep these rodents away from our homes and neighborhoods. I’m thrilled to have co-sponsored a Free Rat Academy with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Council Member Cohen. Rats don’t belong in our houses, apartments, or backyards. The city Department of Health is well versed in rat prevention and I am thankful they offered free training to our community members,” said Senator Klein.
“I am pleased to partner with my colleagues Senator Klein and Council Member Cohen in order to address this problem. Rats are here, there’s no ignoring it, but they aren’t welcome to stay and they don’t have to. We can drastically reduce rat populations and keep our homes clean by educating ourselves and following simple rules that can prevent rats from infesting buildings and houses. If everyone learns about what they can do to protect themselves and their garbage from rats, we can get these rodents out of our neighborhoods,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.
“I am pleased to be co-sponsoring a Rat Academy in my Council District, with the New York City Health Department and fellow elected officials. Rats are a huge public health hazard, particularly if they enter the buildings where we live and work. The Health Department has great expertise in how to keep rodents out of buildings. Rat Academy is an opportunity for them to share that knowledge with tenants and buildings managers in my district, so we can all be partners in improving the quality of life in our community,” said Council Member Cohen.
The DOH provided tips and pointers on how to prevent an infestation, as well as how to best manage an existing rat problem during the two hour workshop. Removing potential food, water and shelter sources is a simple solution to combat the four-legged critters. A DOH representative also encouraged the community members to not feed pigeons or feral cats, as these food sources also attract rats.
The city agency sent the audience home with free rodent-resistant garbage cans. During the Rat Academy, the DOH highlighted how garbage is a major attraction to rats. The rodents usually burrow and live within close proximity to waste. Because of this, the participants were told to make sure their garbage is always 100 percent contained.
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