Bed-Stuy Sees Hundreds More Rats In 2021 Than Year Before: Data

BED-STUY, BROOKLYN – With rats being spotted in New York City and across the country, Bed-Stuy was no exception this year.

The neighborhood’s Community District 3 saw hundreds more rat sightings this year compared to 2020, with more than 1,200 recorded more than a month before the end of 2021, 311 data shows.

The 1,286 rat sightings in the neighborhood between January 1 and November 9 this year are 32 percent more than the 977 sightings in the same period in 2020.

And the surge isn’t just the return of the Brooklynites, who the critters are noticing after emerging from 2020 quarantine.

While much of the city saw a decrease in sightings in 2020, sightings in Bed-Stuy increased. In 2019, before the pandemic, it was just 876 over the period, 47 percent less than this year’s numbers, data shows.

The local surge comes as rat sightings increased in Brooklyn and New York City this year.

Share apartments

So where exactly do neighbors in Crown and Prospect Heights notice their fellow citizens?

According to 311, most of the neighborhood’s rodents can be found where its residents are – in apartment buildings.

Of the 1,286 sightings on Community Board 3, a whopping 867 of them took place in apartment buildings or mixed-use buildings, according to the data.

Empty buildings and lots had the next highest number of sightings, accounting for 98 of the 311 calls. Another 39 were on construction sites, 27 in commercial buildings and 234 were reported to have been marked on 311 in the “Other” category.

It appears that almost no block is immune from the sightings, although some clusters are showing up in the western part of the neighborhood. Here’s a look at where they were this year:

Neighborhood by neighborhood

Despite the increase, Bed-Stuy was one of the neighborhoods where rat sightings have increased the least in the district.

The largest increase was in community District 15 in southern Brooklyn, where sightings increased 167 percent. Park Slope’s Community Board 6 was the second highest, followed by Flatbush’s Community Board 14, where sightings increased 111 percent.

Nearly twice as many rodents were also sighted near Crown and Prospect Heights that year.

Only one of the county’s 18 parishes saw a drop in sightings between the two years, and all but four saw that increase more than 50 percent, data show.

(Using data from 311).

Overall, rat sightings in Brooklyn in 2021 increased 54 percent compared to the same period in 2020, data shows. In fact, according to a Renthop study, Brooklyn reported the most sightings in the five boroughs that year.

But Brooklyn is far from alone.

Citywide, the more than 25,000 reports of rat sightings in the five boroughs this year are almost 29 percent more than in 2020, according to the RentHop study.

Part of the increase is due to rat sightings taking a nose dive during the coronavirus pandemic. When New York City first closed and city dwellers were rightly more concerned about COVID-19 than rats, the monthly complaints were hundreds less than in previous years.

Experts have said the increase in 2021 is likely due to a confluence of factors related to the pandemic, including health inspectors transferred to mass vaccination sites by rat patrols; an unusually wet summer; and the closings of restaurants in the early days of COVID-19, which forced rats to look outside more.

Leave a Comment