Sample Case Study Paper on Rat Infestation in Queens, New York

Rat Infestation in Queens, New York in Comparison with

Other Parts of the City


In recent years the rat infestation has expanded exponentially, spreading to just about
every corner of the city, where it has been a major challenge faced by the residents. As much as
the city has been on a constant war to minimize the soaring number of rats, cases continue to
rise. The city has been losing on the war since all efforts made to combat the infestation have
proven to be futile. Rat infestation has a significant impact on the quality of life, where the
responsibility of mitigating these cases has been on the administration of New York.
The number of rat cases reported in Queens is significantly lesser as compared to other
parts of the city. Entirely, New York number of Rat sightings soared nearly by 38 %, from 12617
in 2014 to 17,353 cases in 2028. In a similar period, the amount of time in which the health
inspections found active signs of rats nearly doubled (RentHop, 2019) .  The 311 hotlines soared
nearly 38% in 2018 as compared to 2014. Some parts in Queens have had a decline of rat
infestation as per the report on the evidence from its neighborhoods. These regions include
Bayside and Bayside Hills, which had a 75% decrease in the number of reports over this period.
In 2018, there were 18 cases, as compete to 2017, where there were 73 cases (RentHop, 2019) .
Rego park, on the other hand, had a 73 % plunge, wherein 2018, there were 18 reported cases
against 16 in 2017. College point, on the other hand, had a 64 % decline in the reported cases
where there dropped from 14 in 2017 to 5 in 2018 (RentHop, 2019) .
As much as Auburndale, Queens, has a relatively lesser amount of rat infestations, it saw
the most significant year to year spike in 2018 in rat complaints with a 340% increase, from 5 in
2017 to 22 in 2018. Finally, Ozone Park, another neighborhood in Queen reported a 63 %
decline in the number of reported cases, where they fell from 38% in 2017 to 14 in 2018

(RentHop, 2019) . In most cases, the complaints about the rodents were in the park during the
summer season, due to the favorable conditions, whereby May, June and July, there were around
39, 391 New York complaints. On the other hand, the complaints were least during the winter
period, where January, November, and December record 21, 384 cases of claims.
The fact that New York is the only city with boroughs in the US, an analysis of the towns
finds out that there are considerable discrepancies in the number of rodent cases. As compared to
Queens which had 2605 complaints in 2018, Brooklyn reports having the, most number of rats in
the city with 6565 cases of 2018 (Winnie, 2019) . Other boroughs include Manhattan, which had
4295, Bronx with 31354, and Staten Island, which recorded 745 cases in the same period.

Borough Number of Complaints Complaints per SqMi
Bronx 3,134 73.8
Brooklyn 6,565 94.5
Manhattan 4,295 188.2
Queens 2,605 24.1
Staten Island 745 12.7
Table 1 Rat Infestation cases in New York as of 2018 (RentHop, 2019)

A significant reason for the increasing number of rat cases in the city is the issue of the
construction boom in the city, where tunnels have been dug. This factor has forced rats to run
into the open, according to the pest control experts and scientists. Another key reason for the
increasing number of arts in Queens and other boroughs in New York is the issue of climate
change. The climate has made it easier for rats to reproduce and survive. Other factors include
the growing population in all parts of the city and the thriving tourism, since individuals bring

out more trash for the rats to feed on. According to experts, this does not just bring nuisance and
blight to the residents, but also a health risk, since rodents are transmitters of various infections.
An event of such a disease is the bacterial infection spread killed a resident of Bronx in 2017
(Winnie, 2019) . AS compared to Queens, Mott Haven and Melrose have the most severe rodent
The severity of the rat infestation in this area ranges from six to nine. Rodents in
Brooklyn are also thriving Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Clinton Hill, where the
severity rates range from six to eight. According to Noah & Patch (2019), areas around Bedford
Avenue and Fulton Street in Bed Stuy have most recently had the highest concentration of
complaints regarding the increasing number of rats (Frei, 2019) . Ridgewood in Queens has the
largest rat population, where its two northeastern neighborhood reported about the rodents. The
statistics were proven after a release of a document with the Borough to borough breakdown for
New York City was released.
As compared to Queens, Brooklyn leads the city with most rat complaints. As of 2018,
Brooklyn reported 6526 cases. Queens, on the other hand, in totality had 2605 complaints, where
it reported an average of 24.1 complaints per square mile. However, despite the reported cases,
none of the Queen neighborhoods could be considered as rat-infested. The region at Queens,
with most cases, is Ridgewood, where it reported 179 complaints (RentHop, 2019) . That's a
marginal increase of 4.7 % percent from 171 sightings in the neighborhood in 2007. Jackson
Heights had 162 complaints in 2018, where the 27.6 % increase from the year 2017 (RentHop,
2019) . Astoria recorded 93 complaints, which was down from 2017. The three neighborhoods in
Queens have had the most major rat complaints in Queens. Oakland Gardens also witnessed an

increase in rat sightings in 2018, with 12 complaints, which is up to 200% from the four reported
in 2017.
As of 2017, New York had about 200, 000 to millions of rats, according to Frei (2019).
According to the website, the number of rats is equal to approximately 20% of the human
population in the city. However, as of 2018, the numbers went down, where there was an overall
7% of the number of complaints regarding the rat infestation. However, in neighborhoods such
as Brooklyn, Queens Bay Ridge, and Auburndale, the numbers were on an increasing trend.
Scientists have proven that the New York rats carry pathogens that are likely to cause vomiting
fever and diarrhea, mostly in Children (Andrzejewski, 2019) . Others may Carry flees, which are
vectors of diseases such as spotted fever, and typhus amongst many others. Additionally, some
individuals have allergic reactions to the presence of hair, faces, or urine from the rats. The
authorities in New York have made it easy to complain about the rodents by making a complaint
online or dialing 311 (Winnie, 2019) . Through such communication, the health department
develops measures of dealing with these rodents. There are also occasional inspections as a way
of mitigating the risks caused by the rats.
High-density human population and areas with large construction sites tend to experience
more cases of rats (Frei, 2019) . It is also a huge task getting rid of rats, because they occasionally
hide, and will only appear when there are no people in sight, when disrupted or when visiting the
trashes. New York's major war against the rodents began in 2017, where the city council
allocated $32 million for the rat extermination campaign. However, to date, despite the drop in
the numbers, cases are still sufficiently minimized as there have been constant reports of the
infestation in the city.


The rat infiltration in the city is a significant challenge faced by the residents in New
York City. Queens, one of the boroughs, has had some of the least cases as compared to others
such as Brooklyn. However, the Borough still has many cases in which the city council works on
minimizing. Combating the rodent population has proven to be a hard task, where the exercise
has cost the city millions of dollars with minimal positive results.
There is hence a need for other cities to study the New York model, as a way of learning from its
achievements and failures in the fight against the rats.



Andrzejewski, A. (2019). A New York City Rat Invasion – 130,000 Reported Sightings Since
2010. Retrieved from
Frei, L. (2019). Rat City: Visualizing New York City’s Rat Problem. Is Your Neighborhood a
Rat Hotspot too? Retrieved from
Noah, M., & Patch, S. (2019). These Are NYC's Most Rat-Infested Neighborhoods. Retrieved
RentHop. (2019). Is Your City Rodent Infested? Retrieved from
Winnie, H. (2019). Rats Are Taking Over New York City. Retrieved from