Exterminators made an unannounced visit to a Bronx public housing development infested by rats.
It was an attempt at emergency pest control after stomach-turning videos of huge rats brazenly roaming on kitchen sinks and counters were posted on social media.
Tenants at the Claremont Consolidated development told NY1 the rats aren't intimidated, and that one even bit a baby.
"It grabbed my stepfather. It was chewing on his shirt, so I hit it and grabbed it and brought it downstairs," said Muhammad Rasheed, a NYCHA resident. "Those aren't rats. Those are thug rats. They fight back."
Friday morning, Housing Authority officials were highly visible to check on the cleanup and try to reassure worried residents.
"The caretaker has done an incredible job in keeping the basement clean," said NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo.
NY1 is told that NYCHA has been patching up rat holes in the basement, garbage disposal has been re-routed to the side of the building, and sanitation crews have been picking up garbage three times a day.
"Since the garbage has been shifted, we are seeing less rats," said City Council member Vanessa Gibson. "But are we satisfied? Absolutely not."
Tenants agree, sharing new photos of live rats popping up in the courtyard and poisoned ones turning up in a bathroom. They are filling out complaint forms that are supposed to go directly to Mayor Bill de Blasio. NY1 is told that Con Edison will give refunds to tenants who were charged extra because utility workers refused to read the meters in the basement because of all the rats there.
"You still hear them. They're all over the wall, all over the ceilings. They're in there," said Jessica De Jesus, a NYCHA resident. "Like horses. They sound like horses."
"I haven't used the kitchen for a month and a half. I don't go in there," she added. "I buy food out."
Because so many kitchens are infested, NYCHA says it will provide free delivered food to 60 households here until the rats are eradicated.