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

‘Marm Cafe’ on Clinton Street is Kaput, Transitions to ‘Bricia’

The end of the road is here for Marm Cafe. The three-year-old corner establishment at 79 Clinton Street hasn’t been open since at least mid-August, its fate finally sealed this week with those brown paper shades. We communicated with ownership via email several weeks ago and were told that the cafe was actually on holiday. […]

Celebrity Endorsed ‘Sycamore Style’ to Open Orchard Street Footwear Boutique

The search for a new retail occupant at 145 Orchard Street just came to a close. It’s been four months since Killion departed the block, but now signage is in place for the latest entrant. Another fashion boutique. Here comes Sycamore Style, a decades-old footwear brand that hawks “custom hand-dyed shoes.” According to their website, […]

In Move from Midtown, ‘Ierimonti Gallery’ Readies 55 Delancey Showroom

After Brennan & Griffin Gallery relocated to Norfolk Street last year, its former headquarters on Delancey Street remained vacant. The only action during its year-long dormancy was when Petee’s Pie used the space for its busy Thanksgiving rush last November. But now, more of the same is on the way. An art gallery from midtown […]

Judge Grants Notorious Landlord Steve Croman Reprieve for High Holidays, Postpones Sentencing

Convicted landlord Steve Croman will spend the Jewish High Holidays in the comfort of his own home instead of prison. At his hearing yesterday, Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser elected to postpone the sentencing another two weeks for the observance. Prosecutors on behalf of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opposed the motion, but […]

With Final Votes Counted, Margaret Chin Squeaks by Marte for Third Term

The Board of Elections yesterday completed its final tally of absentee and affidavit ballots, and the results are in. Incumbent Councilwoman Margaret Chin maintained her narrow margin over challenger Christopher Marte by just over 200 votes. So, it’ll likely be another four years of the same. The results should be certified by the city at […]