An image of an open trash can containing discarded food. The text reads: 'To a rat, this is a five-star restaurant.'



Rats can be a problem for residents, property owners, businesses and entire neighborhoods. Their gnawing and burrowing can cause damage and they can contaminate food, spread disease and reduce our quality of life.

Rats seek out places to live that provide them with everything they need to survive: food, water, shelter and safe ways for them to get around. To keep rats out of your property or neighborhood, you and your neighbors can take steps to make life more difficult for rats:

  • Clean up. Garbage and clutter give rats a place to hide.

  • Rats eat your garbage, so store all garbage in hard plastic rat-resistant containers with tight fitting lids. Provide enough trash containers for all of the occupants of your property. Any exposed garbage will attract rats.

  • Keep landscaped areas around your property free of tall weeds and trim shrubs that are close to the ground.

  • Check for cracks or holes in the foundation of your building, sidewalk and under doors and repair them by filling and sealing them.

  • On the street or in a park, put your litter in a can and do not feed birds or other wildlife.

To learn more about how you can help your community and the Health Department prevent rats, check out the pages listed below.

Rat Information Portal

View rat inspection results and follow-up actions on our interactive map. Look up rat inspection history by address, borough, block and lot (BBL) number or by neighborhood.

Rat Mitigation Zones

Rats can contaminate food, spread disease and reduce our quality of life. Rat Mitigation Zones are areas with high levels of rat activity, where City agencies focus resources to address rats and the conditions that support them.

Use the Rat Mitigation Zones website to view data on rat complaints and NYC Health Department rat control.

Home and Community Prevention

Information for Businesses and Pest Management Professionals

Training for Residents and Professionals

  • Prevention Training (Rat Academy): Sign up for a free training course in rat management. We offer one-day courses for community members — including property managers, local businesses and gardeners — and more intensive three-day courses for pest control professionals.

Additional Resources

More Information