By Josie  May 30th, 2023

Uncover the Reality of New York's

Subway Rats

New York City is typically associated with the bright lights and towering skyscrapers of Manhattan.

But what about their booming rat population?

New York's subway rats are controversial, with some calling for their removal.

But, some hold that they play a crucial role in the city’s ecosystem.

When the first subway line was built in 1904, it inadvertently created a new haven for rats.

History of the Subway

Before the subway, the city’s rats mainly resided in docks and piers.

The subway provides an abundant supply of food, water, and shelter, making it an ideal home for these resilient rodents.


Subway-rats' keen sense of smell allow them to detect food from a considerable distance.

They exhibit impressive climbing abilities, effortlessly navigating walls and ceilings.

1. Brown Rats ( larger and more prevalent, typically have a lifespan of 3 years.)

Types of Rats

2. Black Rats (smaller and less common, has a lifespan of 2 years.)

The underground’s warm, dark, and humid conditions provide the perfect breeding ground for rats.

Environmental Factors Causing NYC's Rat Infestation:


The vast amount of food waste generated by restaurants and street vendors attracts rats to the subways.


Benefits of Subway Rats

1. Rats help maintain the city’s cleanliness by consuming large amounts of garbage.

2. Rats play a crucial role in various ecosystems, making them an essential part of the food chain.

– Sealing cracks or holes in walls – Store food properly – Eliminate potential nesting sites – Regularly clean trash or debris

Prevention of Rat Infestations

Swipe up for the full story!