I know this sounds almost like science-fiction, but I have been hearing about Sewer Lizards more and more often lately. At first I thought this was an Old Wives Tale. But, I just read an article in The New York Times about this epidemic. They say that it is becoming a bigger problem than Bed Bugs – and that in itself is a horrifying story here in NYC. Thank God they found the missing Cobra yesterday!!
Put these scares together, and Hubby and I are almost thinking of relocating.
I had recently taken this picture on the street of Manhattan – warning of a lizard extermination taking place
We often see the Rat Poisoning warnings around town, but this was the first time I have seen real evidence of this Sewer Lizard problem.
And, now this article in the Times…
First of all, it urges residents to be very cautious, but not to panic.
It’s so creepy, but there have been many reports of lizards of varying sizes crawling up into apartments through toilets.
Hubby and I are now stringent about keeping the lid down. But what can you do about the sinks??
It almost sounds funny, but trust me – it’s not.
Here are a few pictures that I dragged from the article:
This is a gigantic one that actually was NOT caught – the article said that it was seen on 44th Street (near the very cover in our neighborhood that I had previously photographed)! They think that it may have made it’s way back into the sewer system, or to the river a couple of blocks away. Authorities were called, but by the time they arrived it has disappeared.
Here’s another, a different, smaller (yet still dangerous) breed that they caught, originally to try to release back into the wild outside of the city:
but the article said that it was so vicious that it was put down instead of being released. Here it is shown trying to bite the researcher’s hand:
More of the article says:
“In order to manage the growing fear of the situation, the Mayor’s office is releasing pictures of C. Hemizibecus Gigantus and the following details:
“First classified as a human threat in July 2010, the New York sewer lizard inhabits the 976 miles of sewer tunnels running beneath all five boroughs of New York City.”
“Growing up to 3 meters [9.8 feet] in length and weighing up to 200 kilograms [440 pounds], the sewer lizard is considered extremely dangerous to humans and pets.”
“The organization trying to capture and control these beasts, the NYSA, which maintains and conducts quality control of the sewer system, has recently declared the situation a city-wide epidemic, and has handed control over to the mayor and to the public authorities.”
“Residents are being urged to report immediately and sightings, to take all necessary precautions to prevent these creatures into their homes, and to call the city emergency line 311 for further information.”
“No reliable method of consumer extermination has yet been approved by the EPA.”
and more like that…
The city is also offering these stickers, which residents are being urged to put on the outside of their doors after professional extermination. They warn neighbors about recent lizard activity in the building (similar to what is being done with the bed bug infestations). Unfortunately, the website listed on the stickers has been so overloaded with hits by concerned New Yorkers, and the entire North East (where it is afraid these lizards are spreading to as they multiply so rapidly), that it is not currently operational.
Yesterday evening, our neighbor across the hall posted the sticker on his door, and I am FREAKING OUT.
Neither the landlord nor the superintendent have returned our messages.
I’m sorry for such a downer blog today, but this worry has been growing, and yesterday with the neighbor’s sticker… I just had to let it out…