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New York City health department offers advice on how to combat rat problems

NEW YORK — Keeping rats under control has been an ongoing conversation between the New York City Department of Health and residents.

CBS2’s Alecia Reid shares recommendations from the DOH “Rat Academy”.

Rats will chew through almost anything softer than steel, including cement and wood, according to the city’s health department. They also breed quickly, only needing an ounce of food and water each day to survive.

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If you see a lot of rats, their food source is nearby.

With a population of 8 million in New York City, the DOH says the average household produces about 8 pounds of food waste each week — enough to feed 19 rats in that span of time.

“When we put our trash away, we put it in the trash cans,” said Alison Levy of the Upper West Side.

Levy has the right idea. Closed garbage cans with secure lids deter rodents.

This week, the Ministry of Health held a so-called “rat academy” to educate people on how to reduce rats.

Pests leave urine and feces everywhere. To destroy the path other rodents are following, clean regularly and use a bleach solution. Also seal holes and cracks in walls.

“I’ve seen people just throw things everywhere, but then I just try to pick them up,” said Eviana Vergara from Los Angeles.

The city is currently Remove abandoned restaurantswhich are ideal habitats for rats.

In the fight against rats, the sanitary department will help is considering changing the time you can dump the trash from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Local residents using garbage cans with sealed lids could be taken out as early as 6:00 p.m

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“I think that’s a great idea. We need to minimize the amount of street litter available to rats,” said Sam Vasquez, a Park Slope resident.

Rats can fit through a quarter-sized hole, and mice can fit through anything a dime in size. Keep this in mind when you see openings near the foundation of your home.

To report a rat problem, call 311. These complaints are sent to the Ministry of Health. DOH inspectors only step in for emergency pest control when an owner fails to do so.

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