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Queens Chronicle

Rat map ranks Queens best in city

Online biz DugDug mapped 311 rat sightings; Ridgewood is the worst

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Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:33 am, Thu Apr 25, 2013.

An online pet product, price comparison company has done some serious number crunching and through its research says Queens is the place to be when looking for a rat-free environment.

Out of the five boroughs, Queens has the lowest residential incident rate per 1,000 people in Queens, coming to a ratio of 1.47, compared to an average of 2.76 per 1,000 people citywide, according to DugDug co-founder Ting Pen.

The worst borough is the Bronx with a 3.83 ratio: 2.97 in Brooklyn, 3.38 in Manhattan and 2.51 in Staten Island.

But there are still some places in our borough that rats seem to hang out in. Ridgewood has the highest number of reports over the past three years.

Pen breaks the numbers down further. Residents at at 46-01 67 St. in Woodside, right off Queens Boulevard, between 2010 and 2013 have phoned in more rat sightings than any other single address in the city.

The idea about mapping the city’s rat population came when Harvard business grad and former banker David Keh began looking for an apartment in New York City. The West Coast native said the images of rats in sewers and subways were pretty scary, especially as a new owner of Walter, a standard poodle he makes a point of noting does not sport a typical poodle haircut.

“I came upon this huge pot of data that’s pretty useful,” Keh said.

New York City has a Rat Information Portal that shows all 311 reports. The Bronx and Manhattan have many more inspections and violations because of a new “rat indexing” program, which involves inspecting most properties even if no complaint was filed.

But DugDug’s map is much more user-friendly with an icky rat icon and an overall look of the boroughs. The government run map requires specific addresses.

“A lot of New Yorkers walk their pets outside,” Ting said. “Rat droppings carry certain diseases that dogs can bring into the house or apartment. This information can be important when planning one’s routes.”

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