Did the storm flush out the rats?

Superstorm Sandy

Did the storm flush out the rats?

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Some extermination business owners say they've been flooded with calls ever since Superstorm Sandy.

The rats are feasting on trash, stealing slices of pizza, and scurrying through the streets. Rats were easy to spot near the Hamilton-Madison housing complex in Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Eddie Marco, an exterminator, believes when the superstorm rolled in last October it may have flushed out the vermin.

It is unclear if the Sandy is the only reason. A recent survey of 311 shows rodent complaints are up in several neighborhoods impacted by the storm. The Lower East Side had the most calls this fall and winter with 121, an increase of 21 percent from the previous year.

The report shows increases in Lower Manhattan, West Village, Greenpoint, Coney Island, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook.

Councilwoman Jessica Lappin wants the city to hire more pest-control officers to catch and kill the rodents. Council Speaker Christine Quinn supports Lappin's plan.

But the Health Department said that overall rat complaints are down in the five boroughs.

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