The city is bolstering its rat extermination program starting next month, adding nine employees to the 45 city inspectors specializing in rodent infestations. A special pilot program has become necessary because heavily infested neighborhoods — West Harlem, Chinatown, the Lower East Side and the South Bronx – haven’t improved from attempts to poison and sterilize the ever-rising rat population.
Looking for “burrows, droppings, claw marks and gnawed holes” isn’t enough when rats are running through your apartment every night. Some infested apartment’s managing companies have offered to install metal grates inside the apartment to keep the vermin at bay. The city plans to target “parks, sewers, dumping areas and subways” in order to “to tamp down the population where it is strongest and keep it from spreading.” Recently, Health Commissioner Mary Bassett explained the updated approach to the City Council:
Rats burrow and live in colonies. I’ll sometimes imagine when I walk through a park, if I could have sort of a ‘rat vision,’ there are all these tunnels under there that are occupied by rats. And from there the rats fan out.
The city is offering a free “training course in rat management” for those that can spare a day off work to attend. It is impossible to tell just how many rats are residing along 8.337 million New Yorkers and the endless garbage we produce for them to live off. (Photo: @Walt Jabsco)