Rats causing car problems in post-Sandy Brooklyn

Rats raid roadsters

Brooklyn Daily
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Some Brooklyn Heights motorists are discovering a creepy, costly surprise under the hood of their cars this winter: an infestation of rats.

Edward Perl, a resident of the neighborhood, said he parked his Lexus on Montague Street near Hicks Street several weeks ago and found that he couldn’t restart it.

A mechanic discovered that the car’s electrical wiring had been chewed through, and the foam lining around the engine cover had been shred to make a telltale nest.

“You turn off the motor, the motor’s warm, and it’s a nice comfy place to stay,” said Perl, who paid $750 to rewire and repair his car.

Thank Hurricane Sandy, which forced swarms of New York’s most resourceful four-legged residents out of basements and into the streets.

The service manager at Bay Ridge Lexus, where Perl took his car for repair, said that he has seen five cases of rat-infested cars so far this winter.

“You could say that our calls pretty much doubled,” said Jason Anderson, a service manager at Brooklyn Heights Exterminator, who said that his business now gets about 30 calls a day for rat infestations, mostly from neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens.

People who see rats on public property can call 311 to prompt the city to put traps out, said Judy Stanton, the executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association.

But the problem could very well come from infestations that begin on private property — and since the mayor’s last few budgets reduced the number of pest-control inspectors in the city, these sorts of complaints may be getting addressed less frequently, she said.

“When the infestation is under the city streets,” Stanton said, “We don’t know where they’re coming from.”

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
Posted 12:00 am, February 19, 2013
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Reader feedback

Joseph Molluso from Marine Park, Brooklyn says:
As a pest control professional i see the daily effects the great rat population has on new york cities boroughs. My name is joey and i own a pest control business named northeastern exterminating. Controlling the rat population goes beyond the city agencies changing the types of rodenticide they use. The general public must be informed that they are responsible first hand for the elevated rat population. Its all about sanitation! We can not leave dripping garbage bags on our street corners anymore. if you have any questions about rats in your home visit my site at and ask away. i do not mind answering a few questions about pests for my fellow new yorkers.
March 19, 2013, 11:22 pm

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