July 22, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The number of rat complaints has jumped significantly in Queens this year, with complaints in neighborhoods like Woodside and Ridgewood more than double what they were a year ago.
There were 1,812 complaints across Queens for the Jan. 1 — June 30 period this year, up more than 27 percent from the first half of 2020 when 1,424 complaints were filed with the city, according to 311 data.
The increase, in part, can be attributed to the reopening of restaurants and New Yorkers returning to the office, experts say. Rodents rely on the food waste generated by these establishments, which were closed for much of past year due to COVID-19.
The rodent problem, however, is still high even compared to pre-pandemic records. The number of rat complaints during the first half of this year is higher than the first half of 2019, when there were 1,528 rat complaints in Queens.
Certain neighborhoods have seen a big uptick in rat complaints over the Jan. 1 — June 30 period compared to 2020, 311 data shows.
For instance, the greater Ridgewood area (11358) saw a huge rise in rat complaints year over year. Rat complaints more than doubled in the ZIP code, which also had the highest number of rat complaints in Queens both in 2020 and 2021.
There were 221 rat complaints in Ridgewood during the first six months of 2021 compared to 103 complaints during the first six months of 2020, according to 311 data.
Woodside (11377), the ZIP code with the second highest rodent complaints in Queens, also saw a jump. Residents of the neighborhood filed 180 rat complaints with 311 during the first half of this year, compared to 89 times during the first half of 2020.
The number of rat complaints has also increased in the section of Astoria represented by the ZIP code 11105. There were 106 complaints filed with 311 during the first six months of 2021, up from just 66 during the first six months of 2020. The ZIP code comes in third for the most rat complaints in Queens this year.
Corona (11368) and Briarwood (11435) had the borough’s fourth and fifth most rat complaints during the first half of the year respectively.
Both neighborhoods experienced an uptick in rodent complaints as well. There were 86 rat complaints in Corona during the first half of this year — up from 58 for the same period in 2020. In Briarwood, there were 81 rat complaints— up from 43.
The map below shows the number of rat complaints in each Queens neighborhood during the first six months of 2021.