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Rats, by Robert Sullivan: A Review

Bennett Baumer Mar 7, 2006

In case you missed it, Rats should be required reading for all New York City residents. Almost every building that I’ve worked with as a tenant organizer has had a problem with roaches and mice. But the worst tenements have rats. Sullivan’s book takes you to the back alleys and slums of New York and presents rats as they are: wild urban animals.

Rats’ most important chapter is on extermination and the various ways to kill off the rodents who bite an alarming 170 people a year. Most of those who are bitten are children. While laying poison and traps is important for both tenants and landlords, every New York City slumlord should read this book as a how-to in locating and preventing rat nests, eliminating entry points in a building and other pest-control techniques.

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