Hurricane Sandy May Force Thousands of Subway Rats Onto New York City Streets

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

As people along the eastern seaboard begin to recover from Hurricane Sandy, those who reside in New York City may be faced with another problem – rats. Thousands of rats that call the underground subway home could be forced onto the streets due to flooding from the super storm.

Rick Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Milbrook, New York, told the Huffington Post that rats would likely head for safer ground, such as apartments and other buildings inhabited by humans.

While experts predict that most rats have drowned, they are capable of swimming or floating for up to four days, according to LiveScience.com. Unfortunately, this means that even if only some of the rats survived, there will be an increased threat of infectious diseases such as Hantavirus, salmonella and the Plague.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) stresses that sanitation is key to keeping the potential for infestations to a minimum.