2004_04_askmouse.gifAs the summer approaches, so does the increase of various pest infestations in NYC apartments. Since we've received a couple of questions about what to do, now is as good a time as any to share some information about how to combat the little vermin that live under your dishwasher.

Gothamist had mice last summer, and can say from experience that having cats is a good thing. The presence of a cat alone is sometimes enough to scare the little creatures away. The drawback, though, is that sometimes city cats are lethargic and won't chase mice at all, or that the cat will chase mice, catch them, and leave them as gifts for you in front of your bedroom door.

If getting a cat isn't an option, you can try some other alternatives. In our experience, most insect traps work reasonably well, if you have a problem like ants or roaches. Humane traps can work to get rid of bigger pests like mice or rats. (Or other traps, too, but that means you'd have to, like, handle the dead mice yourself.)

If do-it-yourself solutions to your pest problem fail, the city does have an agency for handling these things. If you visit the Department of Health Pest Control page, there is a form to fill out to report any outbreaks. They also have a brochure for helping keep rats away (pdf). And, as always, if you need more information, you can reach Pest Control by dialing 311.

If others of you have had experience with pests, we'd love to hear some of your advice, too.