Watch CBS News

Stringer: NYC Must Fight Rats Before Problem Comes Back To 'Bite Them'

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gone are the days when rats ran rampant only in New York City's subways.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer called for increased efforts by the city Tuesday to fight the pesky, menacing vermin.

Stringer blamed budget cuts and lack of funding for pest control while demanding Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council do something before the problem came back to "bite them."

1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg hears from a Washington Heights resident on the pest problem


"This issue should be taken off the budget table because this is about the health and welfare of our city, of our children and of our elderly," Stringer said.

Stephanie Araujo said her Washington Heights block was being overrun by rats. She told 1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg that she "never thought it could get this bad."

"They greet me every evening once the sun comes down.  They run rampant from the back of the building to the front as if they too pay rent," Araujo joked.

At a press conference Tuesday, Bloomberg defended NYC's response to the rat issue saying "the city is doing a great job."

"In the areas where we focused our efforts, I think the number of rats are down like a third, which is amazing progress," Bloomberg said.

The mayor touted a new city strategy that put the focus on whole neighborhoods as opposed to individual lots.

"We're doing the right thing and unfortunately, some of the elected officials just aren't as informed as I'd like them to be about what we're doing," Bloomberg said.

"When rats walk down the street with their shoulders upright like they own the neighborhood, we have a problem," Stringer said.

SOUND-OFF: Is your block infested with rats?  Is the city doing a good job at curbing the problem? Let us know in the comments section...

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.