Rodents have once again reared their ugly heads - and tails - in Carroll Park, but city officials say they’re just passing through.
On September 11 and 15, a Parks Department exterminator visiting Carroll Park reported no major rodent infestations there.
“The rats most likely came from construction sites andrestaurants.” Parks Department spokesperson Meghan Lalor told this newspaper. “We sealed some dormant holes in the park and around the perimeter of the park house, and we placed glue traps inside of the building,”
Carroll Park suffered a major rodent infestation back in 2005.
Desperate for relief, park advocates back then held special “Rat Day” festivities in an effort to mobilize various city agencies to action.
This time out, the Parks Department says it is working with the Department of Health on the issue.
“It’s a much milder intrusion so far,” volunteer gardener Sara Weber said. “We want to get on top of it right away.”
Weber has been hearing complaints about “little things with long tails” since she returned from summer vacation.
Fellow Carroll Park advocate Katia Kelly said that her husband Glenn saw a rat run through the park a couple of weeks ago, and that park workers have reported seeing rodent droppings.
“A box of sugar was left in the park house and [the rodents] ate through that,” Kelly said.
The Parks Department concedes that both mice and rats have been seen passing through the park but contends that “there are no active holes in the park.”
Others have complained about the presence of rats on Smith Street.
Kelly disputes the Parks Department’s determination and says that in the last week she has discovered two new rat holes inside the park near President Street.
Despite the latest rodent sightings, Weber says that Carroll Park is cleaner than it has been in the past and that people visiting are more respectful.
“We live in New York City - this is going to be an issue we’re going to have to deal with now and again,” she said. “The Parks Department doesn’t want a repeat of what happened before.”
Carroll Park will celebrate “It’s My Park Day” with pruning and flower bulb planting on October 3.
In addition to Parks Department efforts, Weber says that the MTA has also promised to bait for rodents at the Carroll Street station.
“I think we’re doing the best we can and if we lose, it won’t be anybody’s fault,” Weber said.
Carroll Park advocates are urging all visitors to refrain from feeding the birds and squirrels and properly dispose of their trash.
“This is not something we should push under the rug and keep quiet,” Kelly said. “We should tell people who use the park.”