NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was outrage on the Upper West Side this weekend, with parents saying huge rats are ruining their visits to the neighborhood.

They also told CBS2’s Erin Logan their concerns are not being taken seriously and they have had enough.

“A ton of rats,” said Sam Valera. “It grosses me out because there’s so many.”

Rats of all sizes have been spotted all over the place at the Toll Family Playground in Central Park.

“We just got here like 20 minutes ago, and I just saw a mouse in the sprinkler and then there was like three rats just in the border,” said Lauren Frank.

Dozens of rats were spotted right under a bench, in the grass, and along the border of the playground. Parents were concerned — especially for the little ones who don’t know any better.

“It’s totally disgusting,” Frank said. “People are complaining about it, but obviously, nothing is being done.”

The city’s Department of Parks and Recreation did not have anyone to go on camera. They told CBS 2 there have been no complaints here from the Toll Family Playground, though there have at others and action is being taken.

City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal (D-6th) said playgrounds in Riverside Park are among the others with rodents. She says because of a recent uptick in rats, more needs to be done other than mechanical traps and increased trash pickups.

“The Parks Department is going to have to figure out a way to respond in order to address this problem,” Rosenthal said. “We can no longer use poison, because the hawks eat the poisoned rats.”

In the meantime, Rosenthal said she has been working with the Riverside Park Conservancy to put Big Belly bins in some area parks and replace the old garbage receptacles that rats can easily get in.

The bins are powered by the sun and are an automatic compactor. They are expected to be put in place in the next six months.

One mother, Jemima Unterhalter, said she can’t even wait six hours.

“It’s what every mother and father wants down here,” Unterhalter said.

As the changes are made, parents await the opportunity to have some family fun without the disgust and annoyance of rats ruining their days and nights.

Comments (35)
  1. James Wilson says:

    Toll family are rabid democrats. No wonder there’s rats at their NYC playground.

  2. Max Conrad says:

    Rats thrive in schitholes. It’s elementary.

    1. tngilmer says:

      They are called Sikorskis.

  3. “Dozens of rats were spotted right under a bench, in the grass, and along the border of the playground.” – that’s a lie. There are not “dozens” in any playground. I frequent these all the time with my daughter and you see 3-4 at best.

  4. the rat issue at these playgrounds is nothing new. Its been this way for a long time. The 2nd playground they show with the hippos does NOT have a rat problem, but the one with the gazebos on 85th does. It has to do with the hillside below it that is a breeding ground for covered in ivy and low bushes.

  5. Jim Williams says:

    Must be fake news. Didn’t Willard retire to Florida over a decade ago? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFTOppsw9Gs

  6. Let me get this straight people packed into a small living space stacked as high as you can see are complaining about the “other” rats living in the streets? lol Manhattan is a sewer, coming here every day to work makes want to scream! The stink, the garbage, the nut bags running around, the homeless pan handling, the money grubbing illegals dressed like super heroes fighting to get a dollar from the tourists that pass by….. ugh i can go on and on.

  7. Jim Morrison says:

    Anchor Baby Rats are off limits for removal per deBlasio

  8. Huge rats in NYC? Who knew?

  9. Whoa. That’s awful. But enough about illegal aliens.

  10. Gal Murphy says:

    Why is everyone so shocked by this. Since DeBlasio the city has become a sewer, homeless on the subway platforms, defecation in the streets, the stench is terrible. DeBlasio should just start gather his minions, the rats, and leave town. But these liberals will vote for him again and the city will continue it’s downward spiral. Tourists should choose a different location for vacation.

  11. Jeff Montana says:

    More brown people = more rats.

    1. Hey Jackas* – Upper West Side = 98% white.

      1. 98% white. Doesn’t seem fair to me. I think the UWS should make affordable housing available in the heart if the UWS to stop this inequality.

  12. They are not dachshunds in rat suits this time!

  13. Get a bunch of rat snakes or even rattle snakes and the, rats, mice and cats would disappear.

  14. Jack Russell terriers! They love cleaning out rats!!

  15. Ra Williams says:

    When I grew up in Manhattan the rats were about the only wildlife I had! Pigeons, sparrows, squirrels, and roaches were the rest.

  16. Paul Roberts says:

    Simple – Just let the cats roam free and the rats will disappear. End of Problem.

  17. Andre Paquin says:

    Hello from Canada.

    Open a pellet gun hunting zone, offer bounties, and feed the game to the EBT people.

  18. If these people dislike rats so much, then why do they keep electing them to office?

    1. John Seymore says:

      how can you tell the difference between jews and rats?

  19. Mike Arvand says:

    Open a season on them and let people own a few guns. and there won’t be a rat visible for years.

    As a practical offshoot – thugs will become a lot more scarce too.

  20. I just LOVE how they complain about the rat problem, but not ONE of them will do whats necessary to fix the problem.

    Here’s an ‘effin clue: Besides the obvious disregard for personal trash on pick up day, when your pit-bull takes a dukie, you pick it up…rats LOVE excrement .

    1. STFU if you don’t know anything. I live 3 blocks from this playground; it’s spotless being just rebuilt. The park and the area surrounding it are clean; people don’t litter and we take picking up after our dogs very seriously.

      The issue at this playground is the hillside next to it that is covered in ivy and small bush landscaping; a perfect breeding and hiding spot for rats and mice. Get educated

  21. Bring in the terriers, they will make the rats disappear in short order.

  22. Why are you so upset with rats?

    You vote them into office every election, you must love them.

    1. Give the job to all the people wanting sanctuary.

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