Yesterday, Elliot Sykes, a NYC Parks Department Parks and Recreation Manager provided an update on the rat infestation at the park in front of the Chelsea Health Clinic at 303 Ninth Avenue. He said an exterminator placed baits in the park this week and they have been working on eliminating the rats. Part of the problem is the liriope in the park. Liriope, a tall green plant that resembles ornamental grass but is a member of the lily family, provides cover for rat burrows. It also hides trash that is thrown in the park. "It provides a breeding ground and a feeding ground for that rats," he said. The landscape was installed in the park before he became manager, but he is considering having it replaced with another, more rat resistant, ground cover.
Of course, these are all things we have written about here, here, here and here. I went back to the park to see the impact of the rat baits. The park was posted with a new sign warning about pesticides. I also saw a freshly dug rat burrow (pictured above) that was right at the corner, in front of where the trash is placed each evening. However, it did seem to me that there were fewer rats at the trash pile on Wednesday night than on previous evenings. But rats still dash out of the park to dine al fresco on the NYC Department of Health's refuse each evening.-Sherry Mazzoccchi