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Councilwoman Won takes city’s ‘rat czar’ on tour of western Queens rodent hot spots

Kathleen Corradi (l.), the city’s ‘rat czar,’ joined Council member Julie Won (r.) and local leaders for a walking tour of some known rat hot spot areas in western Queens. Pictured center is Corinne Haynes, the president of the tenant association at Queensbridge Houses (Photo: Unsplash via Joshua J. Cotten, and the office of Julie Won)

Aug. 28, 2023 By Michael Dorgan

The city’s new “rat czar” joined Council member Julie Won and local leaders last week for a walking tour of some known rat hot spot areas in western Queens.

Kathleen Corradi, the city’s first-ever director of rodent mitigation, visited the Queensbridge Houses, Queensbridge Park and the Woodside Houses on Aug. 24, where she was provided with updates from local tenant association representatives on efforts to curb rat infestations at the locations. She also visited a construction site on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, which has been flagged for increased rat activity and pervasive rodent issues.

Corradi has been tasked with leading the effort to drastically reduce the city’s estimated 2 million rats and was appointed to the newly minted position in April by Mayor Eric Adams.

The mayor has escalated his war with the rodent population this year. Part of that effort includes requiring food-related businesses to place sidewalk trash in lidded containers instead of leaving the garbage in black bags. Rats can contaminate food, spread disease and reduce quality of life, according to the Dept. of Health.

Rat Walkthrough 2 (Photo provided by the office of Julie

A sign indicating that pest control measures have been carried out (Photo provided by the office of Julie Won)

Corradi first traveled to the Queensbridge Houses, where she was informed of NYCHA’s weekly rat treatments there which consists of using bait stations, pesticide, and carbon dioxide treatments.

She then visited the Woodside Houses where NYCHA has converted a dirt crawl space into concrete to reduce rat burrowing.

At both the Queensbridge Houses and the Woodside Houses, NYCHA’s pest management team has installed rat-proofing door sweeps as well as wire lathes to secure window wells in order to block the point of entry for rats. The agency has also placed gravel into areas with a high burrow count and removed abandoned garden spaces. and NYCHA tenant association

A spokesperson for Won said that the city is advising residents at the complexes to put their garbage into trash chutes or use cans with the lids down as a means of reducing rats’ access to food sources. The Dept. of Health advises all city residents to store garbage in hard, plastic rat-resistant containers with tight-fitting lids. Other rat mitigation tips include keeping landscaped areas free of tall weeds and filling or sealing cracks or holes in buildings.

At Queensbridge Park, the public park adjacent to the Queensbridge Houses, Corradi assessed rat burrows at the location and the park’s trash disposal methods. She committed to working with the NYC Parks Dept. to address the rat issues at the park.

Corradi’s last stop on the tour was a construction site at 46-11 Queens Blvd. in Sunnyside, which has been flagged for rodents.

The city, according to Won’s spokesperson, has begun abating rat burrows and placing traps at the site. The Dept. of Health had previously visited the site and multiple city agencies will examine the progress of mitigation efforts going forward.

Won said that monitoring and reducing the rat population is vital to the health and safety of residents.

“Rat infestations create unacceptable and uninhabitable conditions for our neighbors in their homes, parks, and businesses,” Won said.

Rat Walkthrough 2 (Photo provided by the office of Julie

Corradi and Won are joined on the tour by a local tenant association representative (Photo provided by the office of Julie)

Rat Walkthrough 2 (Photo provided by the office of Julie

Council member Julie Won speaking on the tour (Photo provided by the office of Julie Won)

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5 Comments

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JD

I thought the rodent problem was going to be fixed by having houses and apartment buildings put their garbage and recycling out after 8pm the night before collection (or after 6pm if in a container with a secure lid). Isn’t that what our elected officials and DSNY said? I suspect that rule is the first of many that will be put into effect despite the annoyance and burden caused. The real reason for the rodent problem is we’re a city that’s already overpopulated and overdeveloped and yet our elected officials want even more new residents and more new development. More People + More Development = More Rats

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Miguela Rodriguez

Mice Invasion
Since June 2020 I’ve been
catching 🐀 .
I have caught 53 baby mice.
I informed Astoria Houses & only once some one came , just to put poison & cheap glue traps.
Around the outside area they don’t put any traps to catch 🐀 them.
Maybe you can visit the area & see for yourself.

Thank you ! 🤗

Reply
Invasion USA

How about a bordello tour ? We’ve got lots of those in the area or does Julie won think this is just another way to earn a living ?

Reply
Vic Moscovici

Maybe the city should start issuing tickets to the people who feed pigeons , throwing garbage anywhere they want and also there are a lot of homeless people who are turning the garbage cans upside down .

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