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Video: Rats Again Run Rampant at Former Guggenheim Lab Site

About a dozen sightings in a little over two and a half minutes.

Cue “Return of the Rat” – the furry fiends are back on First Street.

Last summer when the BMW Guggenheim Lab took over an empty lot between East First and Houston Streets, near Second Avenue, even the project’s detractors begrudgingly gave it credit for cleaning up a longstanding rat infestation. Well, guess what? The rats are back.

A friend who lives a couple doors over from the lot, which is now a park hosting public programming, brought the rodent resurgence to our attention. (She didn’t want to be named lest she gain a reputation on the block as, well, a rat.) “They’ve steadily become more of a presence and now it’s threatening to be what it used to be,” she said, adding that she has started walking in the street again to avoid the stretch of sidewalk on the southern side of First Street, near Second Avenue, where the whiskered interlopers frolic.

Sure enough, minutes after The Local set up to film the rats on a recent evening, they were seen zig-zagging across the sidewalk every 20 seconds or so, scampering from underneath a set of trash containers to a pile of garbage bags across the way. Passersby shrieked at the site of the voluminous vermin. Before long, we bumped into Emily Armstrong, co-author of The Local’s Nightclubbing column and a longtime resident of the Lower East Side. “They’re back!” she exclaimed as she walked her dog on the block. Read more…

Poisonous Bait Boxes Busted Open On Houston

IMG_0355Paul Defiglia A box that used to be loaded with rat poison.
IMG_0351Paul Defiglia Another broken box.

Someone broke open a handful of bait boxes loaded with rat poison along Houston Street last night, leaving the deadly pellets scattered on the sidewalk, a reader tells The Local.

Our tipster said that she noticed the turquoise poison on the sidewalk on Houston Street between Second Avenue and Avenue A (once “the most ratted place around”) this morning. A visit to the site later in the day revealed that the boxes had indeed been broken open — including ones on First Street — but no poison was anywhere to be found. The tipster had pressed officials from the Fire Department and the Department of Environmental Protection to clean up the mess.

Still, be alert when walking your pets in the area.

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