With Mayor de Blasio waging war on NYC's rat population, it appears the rodents are using humans' credit card statements and free magnets from the New York Public Library to prepare themselves for coming battle. This, at least, was the case with one local rat, who stole two months' worth of its human neighbor's mail to build a nest inside a Bedford-Stuyvesant building.
As first reported by Brooklyn Paper, last Thursday exterminator James Molluso, of Northeastern Exterminating, was called to suss out a potential rat situation at a brownstone on Halsey Street, near Bedford Avenue. "That morning, [the resident] was checking her mail from the night before. She saw a rat by the front door, so she freaked out, threw her mail everywhere, and called us," Molluso told Gothamist. So, he sniffed around to see if the rat had made its home near the front staircase, and discovered that, like a surprising number of local postmen, the rat had been hoarding about 30 to 40 pieces of the tenant's mail.
"I noticed a whole bunch of garbage, sifted through it and saw a lot of mail in that area," Molluso said. "It was shredded. You could tell that was where the rat was pulling mail into." Turns out, Petit Larceny Rat had been using her landlady's letters to create a nice little home for her rat babies. "The mailman was throwing mail by the front door, so the rat would pull the mail into a little spot to use as nesting material, to kind of hide away from everybody," Molluso said, noting that rats like to make comfortable burrows for their "pups" when they reproduce.
Unfortunately, the brownstone's human tenant did not appreciate her rat neighbor using her ConEd bill as a crib. "She was missing bills, missing letters. Like a lot of people do, she blamed the Post Office," Molluso said. "But it was a live rat."
The mail-snuggling rat has since been sentenced to death—Molluso says he put down poison, so the rodent's days are numbered. But he says it's not uncommon for rats to use humans' possessions to build their homes: "I recently saw under a sink, that rats were pulling in underwear, socks, insulation from the walls," Molluso said. "If a rat problem gets bad, they can actually take things from people, even money. Most of the time they're going to take invaluable things, but there is the possibility of them taking things of value."
The War Is On.
[h/t Brooklyn Paper]