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It's just about the most horrifying wake up call we can imagine: opening your eyes to a live rat scurrying over your chest. But that's just what a 72-year-old woman claims happened at her Upper West Side apartment--and she's taking her landlord to court for compensation, the New York Daily News reported yesterday.
"I was laying on my back, sleeping, and felt the rat on my chest," Lidia Cuevas told the paper. "I panicked. I screamed and jumped off the bed." Sounds about right.
Like it or not, this got us thinking about all things rat-related, and we dug through our archives for advice on keeping day-to-day rat encounters to a bare minimum.
- Tips on de-ratifying your outdoor space or patio
- How to get your landlord to fix stuff in your apartment ("stuff" includes but isn't limited to the presence of enormous rats)
- A friendly reminder that the presence of rodents might mean you can withhold rent
- What to look out for if you're moving in above a restaurant, which can be rodent central
- and perhaps most importantly, some hard-won plumber wisdom on toilet rats: "Just flush the toilet."
- The city's "Rat Information Portal" (R.I.P.) will show you the results of inspections and violations at your address (or the address of a prospective new apartment), and Gothamist's interactive map tracks 311 rat complaints by neighborhood.
- Yet another map shows the rate of Department of Health rodent citations (the Upper East Side isn't doing so hot), which is maybe more scary than useful, but still fascinating.
- Highlights from Animal Planet's now-defunct reality show Rat Busters NYC, which followed Queens-based Magic Pest Management making the rounds of infested homes around the city.
- A handy search source for the top-rated pest control options in the city--and here's a 24-hour rat control company, for good measure
- And, just for something to put in the "at least it didn't happen here" file, that ghost ship filled with "cannibal rats" from a few months back. Never forget.