There has been some concern within the neighborhood about the garden and play space attracting rats to nearby residences. Last week, the Citizens Committee for NYC sponsored a skills week and I attended a Rat Abatement class to learn about prevention of rats rather than waiting for them to come to Patchen Community Square.
Now I know lots about NYC rats such as there is only one type of rat, the Norway Rat, and one type of mouse, the House Mouse. Rats and Squirrels do not get along. Rats have a gestation period of 22 days and produce a litter of 8-12. NYC rats usually live around 9 months to a year, while rats in other locations live up to 3 years. Rats prefer to eat near their nest, but have been known to travel up to 5 miles away for food. They can also gain nutrition from as little as food grease. These are all facts I will tell to impress my friends and neighbors. ;)
Below is information about preventing rats:
Conducive Conditions - Improperly stored garbage - Overgrown weeds and vegetation - Holes and openings in sidewalks and other structures - Clutter
Checking for rats - Rats like right angles, so check around corners and around the perimeter of the lot to check for holes. Rats can fit in a hole approximately 2 #2 pencils - There are 2-3 holes for a nest for an escape route. These will be nearby each other - Rats leave grease marks on sidewalks and around their nests
Prevention - Have someone monitor for rats within the garden - 6” deep strips filled with gravel or sand around perimeter, gardening beds and below structures deters rats from burrowing below - Use copper mesh to seal any holes
More information can be found at www.nyc.gov/rats