black rat
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Adams cites progress in New York City’s ‘war on rats’

  • By Christian Wade | The Center Square contributor
  • July 26th, 2023

  • Republished with Permission: The Roosevelt Island Daily News

  • closeup photo of tan rat
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    (The Center Square) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams is citing progress in the city’s war against rats.

    Adams said the city has seen a 20% drop in calls to 311 to report rat activity in the past two months. In some neighborhoods, officials reported a 45% drop in rat sightings.

    “New Yorkers may not know this about me — but I hate rats,” Adams said in a statement. “It’s still early, but these numbers show what we’re doing is working and that we are moving in the right direction.”

    Adams said the city’s efforts to reduce the time trash is allowed to sit on curbsides and adding more trash containers have helped reduce the rodent population.

    “Every food scrap that we keep out of the trash and every black bag that we keep off the street is a meal that we’re taking out of a hungry rodent’s stomach,” he said. “It takes all of us to win the war on rats.

    In November, Adams signed legislation that included the creation of rat mitigation zones, requirements for rodent-proof trash bins in highly infested areas and quarterly reports on progress in the rat wars. The plan devotes more than $3.5 million to the effort, initially focusing on Upper Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood.

    Earlier this year, he tapped Kathleen Corradi as the city’s “rat czar” and tasked her with exterminating legions of rodents that have taken over subway stations, vacant lots and residential buildings across the city. She’s being paid a salary of $155,000 a year with benefits, according to Adam’s office.

    Rat Migration Zones

    Adams has even been impacted by the issue personally after being cited by the city’s health department in December for alleged rat issues at a Brooklyn townhouse he owns. The mayor contested the claims, but a judge fined him $300 for violations.

    A key plank of the city’s war on rats focuses on changes in trash collection set-out times and a schedule that minimizes the time garbage sits on the curb and increases the use of containers citywide, the Adams administration said.

    Next month, the city plans to hold its first anti-rat “day of action” that will include training on dealing with rodents and reducing garbage that feeds them.

    “There’s a saying in the anti-rodent world: ‘If you feed them, you breed them,'” Corradi said in a statement. “The frontline of our war on rats is at the all-you-can-eat buffet of black trash bags, and thanks to hard work across this administration, we’re cutting that buffet off.”

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