The daunting question on everybody’s mind can finally be answered thanks to the city’s latest resource — the Rat Information Portal, known affectionately as R.I.P. The interactive online map allows users to find out how many furry friends are lurking around by searching an address, intersection, block number, neighborhood, borough or zip code.
But before you jump on the site (we know you will), there’s some terms used on the R.I.P you should be familiar with to properly evaluate your rodent situation. The portal gets pretty detailed, not only disclosing how many rats live in an area, but going as far as enlightening you on the active rat signs: fresh tracks, fresh droppings, active burrows, active runways and rub marks, fresh growing marks, and LIVE RATS!
If you’re not already alarmed by the search results for your neighborhood, keep in mind that there’s most assuredly more hidden rodents than shown on the map. The R.I.P. only shows rats and rat evidence uncovered during city inspections and doesn’t report individual rat sightings. Plus, when they’re not scurrying through your trash or hiding in your favorite gym bag, those critters can be pretty sneaky.
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s tool is sure to spark some interesting conversation. Who doesn’t want to compare how many fresh tracks and droppings are in their area? Now, instead of awkwardly commenting on the weather or asking “how ’bout them Yankees?” when an uncomfortable silence strikes, you can bring out the zinger, “so how many live rats live in your building?