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By Gus Saltonstall
HARLEM, NY — Mayor Eric Adams’ rat-busting crews are headed to a collection of New York City neighborhoods identified as popular rodent hangout spots, including Harlem.
Adams, along with the help of Harlem Council Member Shaun Abreu and other elected officials, ramped up the city’s war on rats with four pieces of legislation to reduce rat residency across the city, including a new push to identify targeted “rat mitigation zones” by April 1.
Those eight mitigation zones were announced this week.
In Manhattan, the city identified the East Village, Chinatown, the Lower East Side, and Harlem as rat hot spots needing increased efforts.
Those mitigation zones were selected by tracking the number of local violations for rat activity, rodent-related 311 calls and rat exterminators.
New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will report back at an unspecified time on the results of their ramped-up mitigation efforts in Harlem and the seven other zones, as well as detailed information on what exactly the planned mitigation measures are, according to the city.
“I cannot overstate how critical it is that Harlem is included as one of these zones,” Abreu told Patch. “We have spoken to hundreds of residents struggling with infestations and even property damages. Despite the fact that folks are dodging swarms of rats walking through their own neighborhood, Harlem has not gotten any special treatment up until now from the Health Department.”