Brooklynites: Learn how to keep rats out of your apartment at next week's 'rat academy'

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Sad but true: Sometimes, it really does take a village to keep rats from taking over your apartment building, or even the entire street. And thanks to a bevy of complaints in the area, DNAinfo reports that the Health Department and Community Board 2 are teaming up to hold a "rat academy" next week in hopes of teaching Fort Greene residents how to fend off the four-legged fiends. ("We've literally had people crying on the phone because of rats in their yards," one official told the site.)

Besides general tips for building residents and staff members on keeping the building rat-free (more on those belows), the event has one very appealing hook: free stuff. Rodent-resistant garbage cans will be handed out to attendees who RSVP by noon on January 12th. (To RSVP, email or call 718-596-5410.) The event itself will take place on January 14th from 6:30 to 8:30pm at Art New York at 138 South Oxford Street, according to DNAinfo.

In the meantime, some best practices to keep in mind for pest prevention: Store all trash in rat-resistant containers (DNAinfo describes these as "heavy-duty, high-necked garbage cans with locking lids") and rinse recyclables before tossing 'em; seal up any cracks around floors, walls, windows, etc; try plug-in noise devices or rat-zapping traps in outdoor areas, and keep weeds and landscaping neatly trimmed; and of course, if you have the chance, do some careful research before you move to make sure your new place doesn't come with an unexpected crew of rat roommates.


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