Will New York City’s Rat Problem Hurt Travel to the Big Apple? CheapOair Staff April 6, 2011 general Rats running wild in NYC Rats have been running amok in the Big Apple longer than the Naked Cowboy has been singing and dancing in Times Square. However New York has had enough of their nasty neighbors and want to get their pest problem under control once and for all. Why now? Well according to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, the rodent rampage on city streets and subways is seriously hurting tourism by turning off tourists and giving NYC an awful reputation. Stringer is demanding the rat control budget to be restored by the Health Department in the amount of a whopping $1.5 million. That is a lot of rat poison. Complaints about rat sightings have risen by 1.5 percent year-over-year. As a New Yorker myself, I have spotted plenty more rats on my travels than I would like to admit. Las year's bedbug epidemic hurt New York City's reputation as well, but few people actually cancelled plans to visit one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. However if New York City does not take swift action and curb the rat problems, it could eventually see tourists looking elsewhere for their next vacation.