July 31, 2013 By Christian Murray
The New York City Parks Department and the Department of Health have taken a number of steps in the past two weeks to combat the growing rat problem at John Vincent Daniels Jr. Square, a small park located next to the 52nd Street subway stop.
In the past week, many rat holes have been filled and bait traps have been put down. Furthermore, some of the hedges around the periphery of the park have been clipped back, since rats like to dig their holes by the shade.
The park has been plagued by rats for years. “This is not a new problem but it has got out of hand recently,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who said he called on the city agencies to help resolve the problem.
Van Bramer said that people who feed the pigeons are also part of the problem, since the rats also feast on some of the food.
“In the past week, three summonses have been issued in a sting operation targeting people who were feeding pigeons (at the park),” Van Bramer said. “It’s illegal to feed the pigeons.”
The Parks Department will continually be filling up the rat holes in upcoming weeks– since its staff has to come by and pick up the rats caught in the traps.
Other problems that are causing the rat problem include businesses that illegally dump their garbage next to the park.