New York City Health Department numbers show many restaurants on the Upper East Side, surprisingly, have been cited for rat control problems.
The Health Department's rodent information portal shows areas in dark red where 50 percent or more of restaurants have had rat or mice problems.
Two areas stick out in particular: Queens Village in Queens and the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
A recent report shows 60 percent of restaurants in the Bell Aire section of Queens Village have been cited for signs of rats. And on the Upper East Side, 50 percent of the restaurants have been hit with violations.
Looking on the rat portal, I found several locations with violations within the last year.
Some blame the Second Avenue subway construction work pushing rats above ground.
I spoke with Upper East Side resident and neighborhood association member Barry Schneider about the issue.
No one is exactly pointing fingers at the MTA's Second Avenue subway construction work.
The issue of rats wasn't brought up at a community meeting on the Upper East Side. But this area along Second Avenue has had rat infestation problems in the past. Several addresses come up on the Department of Health's rat information portal.
One resident says he avoids going to restaurants because of sanitary issues, including rat and mice infestations.
We reached out to the city's Department of Health. We haven't heard back. I also reached out to City Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents District 5, the Upper East Side. I did not get a call back.
Gothamist compiled data from the city's restaurant inspections resulting in an interactive map showing where in the five boroughs the rodents like to congregate.