Washington Square Hawks
Lima on the American Museum of Natural History

Rat Control In Washington Square

I received an email yesterday about my comment for the need for rat control in Washington Square.  I was accused of advocating poisons, which would led to the death of the hawks in Washington Sq. This knee jerk reaction isn't helpful.

Washington Square now has a serious rat problem.  One that two hawks will never be able to solve on their own! 

This problem left to escalate will mean baiting stations will soon appear, if not in the park itself, in the front gardens of all of the buildings that face the park.

The late fall is a perfect time for the park to study the problem.  Using florescent markers, the park can study the rat populations and help formulate a plan of action.

The new park design has many features that are encouraging rats.  There are also lapses in basic sanitation.  Examples of these issues include:

  • Bushy plantings rather grass around food sources such as picnic tables, playgrounds and trash cans. 
  • Trash cans that are not rat proof.
  • Trash not being removed from trash cans before dusk. 
  • The public continues to feed birds and squirrels, which also ends up feeding the rats.

So rather than sticking our heads in the sand, we should encourage the Parks Department to work with the Department of Health to study the problem and develop an action plan to control the rat population of the park, while protecting the resident hawks.