Health officials say citywide rat infestation is the worst in Melrose, Highbridge

Rat infestation is a citywide problem, but health officials say it is the worst in The Bronx, specifically in Melrose and Highbridge.

Some experts say too much garbage and too many vacant lots are to blame for the infestation. City officials spend approximately $13 million on rodent control, but residents say that is not enough. Landlords are responsible for dealing with rats, but the penalties for not taking care of the problems are small and rare.

Some people who cannot wait for landlords to deal with the rats hire exterminators. However, an exterminator can be very expensive for some folks, and there is no guarantee that the rats will not be back soon after the extermination.

Some council members would like the city to dedicate a division of the health department to controlling rats.

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