Officials working to curb booming rat population in the Bronx

Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr. met with Department of Health officials Wednesday to discuss methods of curbing the Bronx's burgeoning rat population.

Estimates have shown that the Bronx has six rats for every human resident. The problem seems to be at its worst in communities such as Melrose, Highbridge and Concourse Village because of the high volume of garbage and presence of many vacant lots.

Department of Health officials attribute the overall rodent infestation problem to improper garbage disposal, illegal dumping and dirty conditions. Various construction projects may also be helping the growth of the rat population.

Although Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R-NY) boosted the rat control budget a year ago, Carrion says additional legislation and additional work by the health department is needed to put an end to the rodent boom. He also urges any residents with rat problems to call 311 so a health department inspector can deal with the issue.

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