Lower East Side Rats Coming to Discovery’s “Human Planet”

Posted on: April 21st, 2011 at 6:18 am by

The Lower East Side and its notorious rat population makes a primetime cable appearance Sunday evening during the final episode of Human Planet, the co-produced BBC/Discovery Channel followup to Planet Earth.  During one particular segment, camera crews follow local exterminators M&M Environmental, headquartered at 32 Orchard Street, as they fight the furry vermin.

Herewith a press release from the business:

Rather than bedbugs, it’s the city’s ongoing battle with rats that has the spotlight. Cameras from the BBC in UK followed NYC pest control firm M&M Environmental and their top rodent busting guys- Jeff and Junior. Playing stark contrast to one another, Junior, 26, uses his mean Harlem street-smarts to kill the rats, while Jeff, 43, is more of a sensitive realist from Brooklyn. “Trash is a big deal,” Jeff explains, “Us being sloppy humans and throwing trash out on the sidewalks…that’s a buffet for them,” he says.

The show reports that there’s at least one rat for every person in New York; nearly nine million of the critters. Jeff and Junior leave no rat unturned as they take the Human Planet crew down to a dingy Chinatown restaurant basement where rats aren’t the only pest present. “Rats love fine dining too, but they don’t leave tips behind,” narrator John Hurt explains “They leave excrement and disease.”

In a bit of creative license, the Chinatown restaurant basement was actually filmed in an unnamed East Village spot, while the exterior shots were captured on Doyers Street and also further west at Broadway and Canal Street.

Some other great factoids uncovered in the episode:

  • In May of 2010, the city health department laid off 75% of its pest control staff.
  • In 2010, there were 10,500 citywide complains of rodents received by 311 – up more than 5% since 2009.
  • So far in 2011, rodent complaints are already up by 9% since 2010’s numbers.
  • A 2010 study revealed that rats reside inside subway station walls, and are not actually found deep inside the walls of subway tunnels.

Recent Stories

2016-dead-13_wm
With ‘Walltime,’ Bowery and East Houston Becomes User-Generated TV Screen

Over the years, the south-facing exposure of 294 Bowery has boasted its fair share of advertising. And plenty of graffiti, naturally. Everything from static billboards like the enormous Grand Theft Auto IV banner (April 2008) to videos pimping Ciroc vodka or the fight to save turtles. Now, this enormous white space above (and unrelated to) […]

250bowery-august-2016
250 Bowery Condo Owners Together Sue over Shoddy Construction and Flooding

There’s a certain element of schadenfreude here… Condo owners at 250 Bowery are realizing what supermodel Gigi Hadid did last year. Maybe they should’ve thought twice before buying into the development. The starlet, and Taylor Swift pal, sold her pad for $2.3 million. The next month, February 2016, the proverbial shit hit the fan. Indeed, the […]

cocoron-sign-delancey
Cocoron Soba Soft Opens its Newest Delancey Street Outpost Today

The Cocoron-Goemon local empire increases by one today. Its newest noodle nook debuts this afternoon at 16 Delancey Street, a former restaurant supply shop. Ownership reached out to confirm that the so-called “Cocoron 16” is currently in soft launch mode. “It’s kind of soft open that means we offer 20 seats for the start,” ownership told […]

payless-closing-1
Laces Out: Payless is Closing Delancey Street Store After 6 Years

Payless ShoeSource is a goner. The six-year-old store at 130 Delancey Street – inside the big-box base of the Blue condo – is closing in short order. Discount signs in the windows announce the closure and requisite sale, employing the tagline, “closing here but open near.” (The nearest location is 34th Street.) Payless has apparently […]

cafe-habana-prince-protest
The Cuban Corn Crisis on Prince Street

The corner of Prince and Elizabeth Streets was noticeably quiet yesterday as Cafe Habana’s lunch patrons were met with a locked door instead of the trendy cafe’s signature Cuban grilled corn. Throughout the day, would-be patrons who normally loiter outside while waiting for tables or chomping down on corn, appeared confused at the closure. That […]