Some Outdoor Dining Sheds Have Become a Rat's Paradise After Hours in New York City

The Inside Edition rat patrol is back! Some outdoor dining sheds have become a haven for furry vermin after hours at New York eateries. “This is a rat’s dream come true,” exterminator Paul Barletta tells Inside Edition.

Outdoor dining has been a godsend to restaurants struggling during the coronavirus. But as it turns out, it’s also a great place for rats to live and multiply.

After hours at some New York City dining sheds, rats are having their own dinner parties. Inside Edition's rat patrol found the disease-carrying vermin in different parts of the city.

At Miriam, a popular eatery in Brooklyn, we spotted them scurrying all over the outdoor dining area in search of leftovers. Miriam did not respond to Inside Edition's requests for comment.

Stewart Waldman has lived in New York City for over 30 years and says he's never seen the problem as bad since the outdoor dining sheds went up.

“Do you think that these restaurant sheds have added to the number of rats in your neighborhood?” Inside Edition's Lisa Guerrero asked Waldman.

“Without a doubt,” he said.

Our flashlights also caught rats running around the outdoor dining area at a pizza joint in midtown Manhattan. The manager at B Side Pizza said the rats didn't come out when the restaurant was open, but he acknowledged that they show up after the restaurant closed for the night.

“We do a thorough cleaning everyday before the shift and we have an exterminator that comes out every week,” the manager said.

But, of the restaurants we checked, nowhere was the problem worse than at Arriba, Arriba. Their tasty tacos are a New York favorite. And after hours — the rats agree.

But the restaurant says it is aware of the issue.

“We have recently taken the whole thing down and cleaned everything out and poured cement,” manager Brent Reil told Inside Edition. He says they're doing everything they can to get rid of the rats, which he calls a city-wide problem.

“All over the city it's happening,” Reil said.

Exterminator Paul Barletta of SWAT Pest Control in New Jersey says these types of outdoor dining areas are very conducive to attracting vermin, especially if trash is left in and around them overnight.

“This is a rat’s dream come true,” Barletta said.

And although it takes constant work, he says restaurant owners can keep rodents away with a vigilant pest control management program. The restaurants we spoke with say they use pest control companies to try to get rid of the rats.

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