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

arlenes-snow
Here’s What’s Open on the Lower East Side During the Blizzard [UPDATING]

We’re keeping track of restaurants, bars, and other businesses that are open during this blizzard of 2015. The list is a work in progress that we’ll periodically update. At least you’ll be able to hit the gym and get a new tattoo before shoveling the sidewalk… Here’s what we have so far, in no particular […]

sanitation-prep
Nearly 2 Feet of Snow is Coming, One Sanitation Worker Prepares

Everyone is getting ready for the imminent snowstorm this week, which could dump nearly two feet of snow on New York City. Whole Foods is notoriously elbow-to-elbow busy with doomsday shoppers. Down at the Department of Sanitation silo of salt, preparations are underway to ensure supply is ample. Caught this lone bulldozer sitting atop an enormous […]

Construction on East Houston will never end
M15 Bus Service Rerouted Thanks to Neverending Roadwork on East Houston

The neverending clusterfuck of construction on East Houston apparently requires an army of machinery. At last count the embattled traffic artery now boasts eight backhoes and related equipment, positioned between Forsyth and Allen. In addition, a double wide shoulder was created outside the Sunshine Cinema. Such roadwork is wreaking havoc on traffic patterns with no end in […]

100norfolk-sunday-work
Weekend Construction Continues at 100 Norfolk Without After-Hours Variance

Lawlessness seems to thrive these days at the corner of Norfolk and Delancey Streets. On one hand, you’ve got controversial landlord Samy Mahfar who is converting #102 to luxury and already exposed tenants to toxic levels of lead dust; right next door at #100 is the 12-story cantilevered condo project by Adam America which commissions […]

provident-loan-society-building
Demolition Likely for Provident Loan Society Building on East Houston; New Development on the Horizon

It’s truly unfortunate when you discover that a particular architectural treasure is not officially landmarked and is then demolished for luxury living. This trend is endemic of the Lower East Side lately, its very character endangered. And we’re probably losing another. The latest victim of the onslaught is allegedly the Provident Loan Society building at the […]