Rodent Management

NYC Department of Health wants you to know that this is the busy season for rat activity in New York City. Here are tips to keep the rats away from your building and out of your home!


With warmer weather comes cookouts, longer days, and uninvited houseguests. Read on for tips on dealing with rodents in your building. 

There are also new regulations about bedbug reporting this year. Property owners must submit their building's bedbug history through an online portal. Click here to learn more about the online portal, and click here for UHAB's online three-part training on bedbugs!



Encourage discussion

This is a building-wide job! Create a pest prevention plan, and talk to your neighbors about rodents. If you don’t coordinate efforts across the entire building, pests can simply move from one part of the building to another.

Visually inspect

Rodents come out at night. After dark walk around outside with a flashlight and look for burrows, droppings, holes, gnaw marks on wood and plastic garbage cans. Check walls and grass for signs of runways. Rodents run along the same path many times a day, leaving dark greasy track marks along walls and worn down paths in grass.

Wash away droppings and track marks

Rodents communicate and attract each other through their urine and droppings. Sweep up droppings, and clean up dark greasy track marks. Wash down the area with water and a mild bleach solution (one part bleach, 10 parts water). Talk to your neighbors and work together to clean up, so rodents don’t move from one place to another.


Shut them out

Seal cracks and small holes with caulk, rodent resistant metal door sweep, metal flashing and screens for window vents and fill large gaps and holes. Close inactive burrows properly.


Get rid of clutter

Clutter gives rodents lots of places to hide, sleep, nest and reproduce. Remove (and recycle) piles of newspapers, paper bags, cardboard and bottles. Store items away from walls and off the ground. Make sure the garbage bags aren’t overflowing and the garbage area is tidy. This applies to indoor and outdoor areas! Control weeds and shrubs; keep the ground bare 6 inches from the building; and trim under shrubs.


Consider Food Scrap Recycling

Overflowing trash cans and trash bags on the sidewalk are a huge draw to pests. Food scraps can be stored in a pest-proof container, removing a key food source for all pests.

To learn more about food scrap recycling, check out GrowNYC's website, or contact Larissa at!

Create roles

Fighting pests can seem like a huge task. Assigning roles can help keep everyone involved and motivated. Here are some ideas for roles:

  • Rodent-prevention task force (or individual point person):  Ask shareholders if they have seen any signs of rodents and make sure to record all instances. Identify tasks and coordinate projects until completion.
  • Hallway Inspector:  Inspect hallways for holes and cracks in the walls and doors for gaps. Inform the designated task force or individual of all projects that need to be completed.
  • Disposal Manager: make sure the outside garbage bags aren’t overflowing and garbage cans are closed.
  • Motivator: remind neighbors about the building-wide rodent-prevention plan! Encourage everyone to check their apartments for signs of rodents, make sure their garbage is put away properly and to put away pet food.
  • Outside Inspector: inspect outside for burrows, rat dropping, and rodent tracks. Inform the designated task force or individual.
Regularly inspect for rodents around your building. You don't have to wait for significant rat activity or for a severe problem. Rat activity has visible signs, indicated by the presence of:
  • rat droppings
  • live or dead rats or rat burrows
  • markings near the baseboards or lower parts of walls
  • gnaw marks
In order to control rat activity or infestation, a strategy must be implemented to prevent rats from accessing the three things they need: food, water, and shelter. If they find these in your building, you may be headed for an infestation!
Adding rodent-proof trash bins and food composting systems to your building can help to reduce access to food.
Contact Emily at (212) 479-3318 or to get more tips about Rodent Management and learn about how to fight the rat activity in your building, on your street, and in your neighborhood!