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New York City Tries Different Approach In Managing Rat Populations

New York City has always been in an on-going war against rats. Now, city officials are trying a different approach where they are educating regular New Yorkers in an attempt to make the streets, businesses and gardens less habitable for rodents, reports NPR News.

Part of their approach in managing rat infestations in New York City requires hiring more pest exterminators to help seal up any holes in sidewalks, parks and other public infrastructure. Rats are known to be able to squeeze into the tightest spaces and openings in doors, windows and sidewalk curbs. “Rats only need a hole or a gap the size of a quarter,” adds Caroline Bragdon, a rat expert with the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

However, that is not enough to solve the problem. Rats will often come back, unless you can remove the conditions that attracted them in the first place. The Rat Academy is the other part of the city’s new initiative, which consists of a free, two-hour course on making a business, apartment building or community garden less attractive to rodents.

Joseph Mitchell wrote in The New Yorker, 70 years ago, “some authorities believe that in the five boroughs there is a rat for every human being.” Despite rats being nocturnal and being difficult to spot during the day, it is believed that this number would be much higher today.