There may be a lot less rats in New York City than we thought, but that doesn't mean that the 2 million rats that exist are welcome members of this metropolis. Recently, Mayor Bill de Blasio described rats as "one New York City institution that we're happy to get rid of," and he's putting his money where his mouth is. The city budget, approved this week, includes $2.9 million to fight rats, according to the Times. The "integrated pest management" plan is wide-reaching and includes things like rat-proof, solar-power trash bins and a rodent task force to target "rat reservoirs" and eliminate their food sources, but is it enough to overcome?
If the experts the Times talked to are to be believed, the key to eliminating rats is to "think like a rat."
Rick Simeone, the city health department's director of pest control says (while "scouring the bushes of Downtown Brooklyn for signs"): "They're just like us. They don't give anything back. They eat and reproduce."
Robert M. Corrigan, "a rodentologist who has long advised the city," says: "New York's rats are diabolically clever. [A rat is] an opportunist, and it's not fussy." Still, Corrigan is optimistic about the city's current efforts.
But Joe Lhota, former MTA chairman notes, "the rats were here before the first mayor." And as the Times points out, "There have been 109 mayors of New York and, it seems, nearly as many mayoral plans to snuff out the scourge. Their collective record is approximately 0-108."
· New York City Escalates the War on Rats Once Again [NYT]
· All coverage of Rats [Curbed]