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Abstract

Given the history of well-documented rodent infestations in New York City we were interested in assessing the economic impact of rats and mice on small businesses in The Lower East Side of Manhattan. Via mailed surveys and on-site interviews , we quantified damage to structures, loss of saleable goods and merchandise, the cost of pest-control professionals, and/or self-applied poison/traps. Overall, 16% of business (n = 76) responded to our queries. To those businesses reporting some level of rodent damage, average losses included $513 in merchandise, $726 in pest-control fees, $371 in repair costs to structure, and $125 in do-it-yourself deployment of poison and traps. Average annual loss to those business owners that reported rodent infestations was estimated at $1104. Our observations suggest that commensal rodents in New York City have remained persistent pests that are capable of inflicting noteowrthy economic losses. Given the significant effort by the City of New York in the fight against rodent infestations we suggest that persistent environmental degradation and possibly even genetic resistance to 2nd generation rodenticides have enabled city rodents to persist and flourish despite the various campaigns to thwart them.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/2164-0866.1.1.2