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

eye-for-art-division
‘Eye for Art’ Gallery Opens Where Cafe de Nora Failed on Canal Street

You might say Canal Street now has an eye for art. Most literally. Where the half-baked Cafe de Nora failed, a new art gallery is already up and running. There was a moment where it seemed as though the dining spot would stay, but the writing was on the wall (i.e. extended hiatus without explanation). So, […]

hell-building-complete-1
Hotel Indigo Delays Hell Square Hotel to November 1; Scaffolding Completely Removed

Milestones galore for the Orchard Hell Building, a development ten years in the making. A public parking garage debuted last week on its backside; and this week, all scaffolding and plywood removed from the project site for the first time since at least 2006. However, Hotel Indigo delayed its grand opening yet again. This time, […]

50bowery-rising-1
Ugly Joie de Vivre Hotel at 50 Bowery Ascends to 20 Stories

The Grand Old Bank on the Bowery (i.e. the HSBC) is less so, trumped by Peter Poon’s ego. That new Joie de Vivre hotel rising at 50 Bowery is growing like a weed, having already ascended to a level of twenty stories (basically doubled its height in a month). The concrete superstructure is now visible […]

essex-market
Essex Market ‘Street Seat’ is Months Delayed, but Expected Soon

The Essex Street Market is still banking on city-implemented infrastructure, albeit temporary, to help solve its foot traffic woes. As previously reported, the Lower East Side BID is working with the Department of Transportation to implement a seasonal Street Seat outside the brick warehouse on Essex and Delancey. And, of course, it’s delayed. Its debut […]

booker-dax-rent
The ‘Booker and Dax’ Workspace on Eldridge Street is Kaput

Time to put away the beakers and bunsen burners. The Booker and Dax Lower East Side workshop is no more. Three years after its inception, tombstone leasing signage above the entrance confirms the closure. Booker and Dax proprietor Dave Arnold opened the 700 square-foot lab space at 54 Eldridge Street in the summer of 2012. […]