Four months after the city cut back on pest control workers, rats are having a field day everywhere from foreclosed homes in Queens to lower Manhattan construction sites.
A city program that clears garbage-strewn lots was cut by 75 percent in May, down to 21 workers from 84. It now takes pest control aides months to respond to 311 complaints about neglected properties, workers said.
Complaints about rat sightings are up 8 percent from last year, with 6,212 calls as of last month, according to 311 numbers.
In stretches of upper Manhattan and the boroughs, foreclosed houses and stalled construction sites have become dumping grounds that attract pests, according to local officials.
The Queens pest workers get at least two-dozen complaints about filthy lots a day, of which the borough’s two workers can only respond to one... The aides clean up properties when the landlord refuses to do so, and then issue fines.