Donate

Videos Reveal Horrifying Rat Infestation Inside NYCHA Apartments

Rats have thoroughly infested a Bronx public housing complex, brazenly clambering over kitchen counters, surfacing in toilet bowls, and attacking children in their homes.

Video footage from inside the Claremont Houses documents an infestation of truly alarming scale. These footage is not for the faint of heart—in one horrifying video taken inside a resident's kitchen, the rats keep emerging one after another, scaling the side of a kitchen sink and scrambling over pans, utensils, and cooking surfaces with abandon.

According to NBC 4, the family that inhabits this apartment boarded up the kitchen in an effort to keep the rats away from their dog. See also: This monstrous rat, captured on camera by Pix 11's Monica Morales, fearlessly trekking over one resident's stovetop to paw at what would appear to be cheese.

Fox 5's Lisa Evers also shared a video of a resident disposing of a dead rat the length of his forearm outside the complex. The man said he killed the rat when he found it "biting on [his] stepfather."

Asia Clemente, who lives in the Claremont houses, told NBC 4 that on Monday morning, a rat bit her 1-year-old son on the stomach as he slept. She took him to the hospital, where he was treated and prescribed antibiotics.

NBC 4 reports

that the trouble started after a trash compactor in the Claremont Houses' basement was shut off, compelling the rats to scurry upward into people's homes. One resident lifted his toilet lid to reveal two drowned rats inside—a daily occurrence, he said. "It's disgusting," he added. "We pay rent every month on time, and this is why we pay rent for?"

But according to ABC 7, the infestation took root in the complex's courtyard, prompting residents to avoid the area at night. Now the rats roam kitchen counters at all hours, although the racket reportedly worsens after dark. One resident complained to ABC of hearing scratching inside the walls that became so loud he couldn't sleep.

According to ABC, NYCHA officials did begin to address the problem on Monday, quite possibly catalyzed by all the media attention. They patched holes and sprayed repellent "where it was safe," but residents complain that the agency has otherwise ignored their plight. Because this problem—while certainly not confined to the public housing complex in question; NYCHA conditions remain deplorable across the city—has persisted at the Claremont Houses for at least a year. Barbara Holmes, president of the Morris Houses [part of the Claremont Village] Tenants Association told City Limits last October that the rats "were walking around like they own[ed] the place." NYCHA, she suggested, had not done nearly enough in the way of extermination.

Gothamist has contacted NYCHA for comment, and to ask what the agency plans to do for Claremont residents in the immediate future. We will update if we hear back, but in a statement to Pix 11, a spokesperson said: "Our residents should not have to live in these conditions. Since this first came to our attention, we have taken aggressive steps to address the current infestation by eliminating rodent access to the building and the apartments, which will also keep future rodents away. We apologize to our residents and will continue to vigilantly monitor this situation."

UPDATE: A NYCHA rep tells Gothamist that staff have been inspecting the complex since Friday, patching holes and formulating an attack plan to block the rodents from entering the building. Exterminators have allegedly been treating the basements, and the garbage compactor rooms have been blocked off for more intensive rodent-clearing efforts. NYCHA staff will reportedly be onsite today to inspect the basements for openings, and will continue to monitor them for activity. With regards to the apartments themselves, NYCHA says it is sending in people to inspect, exterminate, and plaster.

Featured in News