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

new-territories-2
‘New Territories’ Dessert Shop ups the Ice Cream Game in Hell Square

Another built-for-instagram sweets shop just hit the Lower East Side. And it’s apparently the hottest new shop in Hell. Square, that is. New Territories sold out of product upon its opening Sunday night at 190 Orchard Street. They won’t be back for your dollar until tomorrow, according to a sign on the closed gate. Owned and […]

Rendering composite of Ben Shaoul and 196 Orchard St, Photo: Real Deal
Big Real Estate Plots Area Domination with ‘LES is More’ Summit at the Sunshine Cinema

“L.E.S. is more.” This cringeworthy slogan, a played-out play-on-words, has long been co-opted by the real estate industry in order to sell the Lower East Side. Most specifically, the Lower East Side Partnership, whose singular mission is to increase property values for the area stakeholders. Now, big real estate is holding a summit along those lines […]

Swapping out the goods, Photo: Two Bridges Tower
Busted Exercise Equipment on East River Esplanade Finally Replaced by the City

It just wasn’t built to last, and now, reinforcements… Replacements for the heavily-used exercise equipment near the mouth of Pier 35 are finally here. Parks Department workers were spotted installing the new machines yesterday afternoon, much to the delight of locals. Indeed, it’s been a long time coming. Pretty much since debut in February 2015, […]

yep-tour-pike-1
Yep Tour Chinatown Buses Seized, Forced to Pay $15K in Fines

Opposition continues to mount in the ongoing battle against illegally operating intercity buses. Back in November, the CB3 Transportation subcommittee denied Yep Tour a permit to operate on Pike Street and East Broadway, as it would set a dangerous precedent for other unchecked bus companies. The motion to deny carried, though Yep Tour nevertheless stayed classy in admitting […]

fat radish open
The Fat Radish Changes it up with New Lunch Concept and Pintail Coffee

Change is afoot in the Fat Radish empire. The modern British eatery at 17 Orchard Street is set to dish out a new “lunch concept,” and duly welcomes executive chef Nick Wilber back into the fold, to work alongside head chef Jared Dowling. Owners Ben Towill and Phil Winser had previously relocated Wilber to their Upper East Side […]