New York Post


B’klyn rat stole woman’s letters to build nest


A Brooklyn woman was convinced the local post office was to blame when much of her mail stopped arriving at her brownstone, leaving her with late notices for unpaid bills.

But the dirty rat responsibl­e for the missing mail wasn’t a lazy postal worker — it was literally a dirty rat.

The rodent had been swiping letters off her Bedford-Stuyvesant stoop for months and using them to build its nest.

“She was getting late notices for bills. It turned out the mailman was throwing it on the porch and the rat was grabbing it and using it as nesting materials,” said James Molluso, owner of Northeaste­rn Exterminat­ing, who uncovered the critter’s secret stash under the stairs.

Molluso says he found 30 to 40 gnawed envelopes when the unidentifi­ed resident on Halsey Street called him in after spotting the pest.

“I moved everything to see where the rat was going, and right around the rat burrow was a ton of ripped-up mail,” he said.

The woman seemed a little sheepish to learn that she had been wrongly blaming the US Postal Service for the wayward envelopes.

“You could tell she felt, ‘Oooh, that’s where my mail has been going,’ ” he said.

Molluso nicknamed the rodent Mail Rat, in homage to the pie-pilfering Internet sensation Pizza Rat. “We don’t know if it’s a male rat or a female rat — but we know it’s a ‘mail rat,’ ” he joked. But this pest’s fame will be shortlived. Molluso put out traps and bait stations that he said should take care of it one way or another. This is the first time the rat-catcher has solved a case like this, but the critters will pretty much swipe anything they can wrap their tiny jaws around to build a home, he said. In fact, he explained, it’s common for rats to steal diamonds from city jewelry stores to bling out their burrows.

“You have to be careful if it’s highvalue items. Small things like diamonds, important things — they can tear up money. They’ll just pull it into their burrow,” Molluso said.

Bedford-Stuyvesant is ground zero for Mayor de Blasio’s recently unveiled $32 million war on rats,the exterminat­or noted.

The city plans to install rodentproo­f garbage cans in the neighborho­od and will ban residents of large buildings from putting their trash out before 4 a.m.

The vermin virtuoso called it “a step in the right direction,” but said the mayor should reach out to experts like him to lead the charge instead of relying simply on the Department of Sanitation to clean up the worst infestatio­ns.

The rat-plagued resident declined to comment, even via Molluso.

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Post photo composite

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