Inside Edition Investigation Finds Rodents in Some Popular Restaurants’ Dining Rooms

Reported sightings of rats, known to carry disease, are the highest they've been in over a decade in New York City. And when Inside Edition recently went looking, we had no problem finding them.

It's an age-old problem in cities across America: rats. Reported sightings of the disease-carrying vermin in New York City are way up, the highest in over a decade. 

Now, Mayor Eric Adams has declared that rodents are Public Enemy No. 1. 

“Well you know what, we’re gonna kill rats,” he said. “Rats have no place in this city.” 

In Adams’ latest attempt to control the city's rampant rat problem, starting early next year, New Yorkers will be fined for putting their trash out on the curb before 8 p.m., but is there really any way to stop the rats

When Inside Edition recently went looking for them, we found them everywhere. 

And not just on the streets. We even spotted rodents inside high-end grocery stores and fancy restaurants. 

At Agata & Valentina, a gourmet supermarket on Manhattan's Upper East Side, we found rodents climbing and crawling all over this display of croutons in the store's front window after closing time.  

Inside Edition chief investigative correspondent Lisa Guerrero tried to speak to a manger. 

“Do you realize you have a rodent problem?” she asked.  

“No, we don’t. We don't,” the manager replied.  

“Well for two nights in a row we saw multiple rodents in your store,” Guerrero said. 

“You should speak to an owner,” he said before walking away.  

We never heard back from them. 

Many pizza aficionados say the best pie in all of New York City comes from John's Pizzeria on Bleeker Street. Two nights in a row, our cameras captured rodents hunting for scraps. 

When we showed a manager at the pizzeria our video, he said they'd address the issue immediately and they have a routine extermination service once a week. 

Not far away at the popular Buvette in the West Village, which also has locations in London, Tokyo and Paris, we saw rodents also on the hunt once the customers left, including in a dining area. 

A manager there did not want to speak with Inside Edition. We reached out, but never heard back from them either.

Many are blaming the surging rodent population on outdoor dining sheds that were erected during the pandemic to encourage outdoor dining. On Manhattan's Upper West Side, we watched as rats took over a strip of restaurant sheds. 

“People produce garbage, which is food potential for the rats, so they want to be close to where they can eat immediately, just like we want to be close to our favorite restaurants,” Alan Guy, an expert on rats with M&M Pest Control, told Inside Edition.  

He says it's an enormous challenge to keep the rats off the sidewalks, but with hard work it is possible to keep them out of restaurants. 

We also reached out to city officials but never heard back.  

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