This might be an uptown rat sampling a salad Niçoise. Image: Wikipedia.
Next time you see a rat in Comme des Garçons sneakers, you’ll know you’re in the West Village. Fordham University graduate student Matthew Combs is what you might call an urban rat scholar. Most recently Combs and his colleagues have been focused on the DNA of Manhattan’s brown rats; according to The Atlantic, they’ve been able to produce the most comprehensive genetic rat population portrait to date. Their study revealed that there are distinctive rat subpopulations within the city’s scampering masses: In particular, Manhattan’s uptown and downtown rats are genetically distinguishable from one another.
Distinct neighborhoods have their own distinct rats
, Tue, September 12, 2017
With a new school year underway, Upper West Siders now have another chance to sign up for one of the city’s many rigorous academic opportunities. Councilmember Helen Rosenthal and Community Board 7 will be hosting a “Rat Academy” on September 28 to instruct and inspire building owners, supers, management companies and businesses on how to keep the neighborhood rodent-free, according to Time Out. The Department of Health will be on hand to outline safe and effective methods of curbing the subject of a recent West Side Rag rant that lamented “being overrun by rats in and around the entrance on 83rd Street and Riverside Drive.”
No rat left behind, find out more
Mayor Bill de Blasio declared Wednesday that he wanted “more rat corpses” in a $32 million crusade to rid the city’s most plagued neighborhoods of the scurrying scourge. The New York Times reports that parts of lower Manhattan, the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx are the focus of the latest campaign that hopes to reduce the number of rats in those areas by 70 percent by the close of 2018. Among the battle’s newly-forged weapons are 336 $7,000 solar-powered rat-proof garbage bins and an EPA-approved–and apparently very effective–method of killing rats in their holes using dry ice.
Psst…hey…pizza over here
To investigate the question, “What is a New York City rat, and where did it come from?” the New York Times checks in with researchers at Fordham University, led by Jason Munshi-South, who have embarked on a rat-tracking study to find the answer to that very question (among others). It turns out that–much like the city’s millions of two-legged inhabitants–the answer is “everywhere,” from Galapagos and Brazil to New Zealand and Japan.
We’re all immigrants at some point
Act one: A case of we said, they said, and the bedbugs at the center of it all.
According to The Post, “This American Life” host Ira Glass and his wife Anaheed Alani are being sued by their 159 West 24th Street condo board for allowing bedbugs and rats to take hold of their home. The complaint was filed Thursday in the Manhattan Supreme Court and alleges that couple’s neglect has created “unsanitary conditions” that have affected the entire building.
find out more
From the fine folks at the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene comes this most informative interactive map of the five boroughs that tells you whether you’ll need to keep an eye on your pizza. The Rat Information Portal (RIP) gives you the facts about rats in NYC—where they are and what you can do about them. You can search the city, building by building—handy if you’re thinking of renting or buying an apartment—to get the 411 on potential pest problems of the furry kind.
Let’s find some rats
Warning: Explicit rat footage ahead.
If you don’t already live in fear of rats taking over your apartment, you will after this. A new video from National Geographic shows exactly how these rodents make their way up your toilet bowl, which is apparently quite a common city occurrence, according to Gothamist. Though we’re used to seeing them scamper around near the garbage bins, rats are pretty aquatically adept; they can tread water for three days and stay underwater without breathing for three minutes. Plus, their ribs are hinged at the spine, meaning they can fit through even the narrowest of pipes.
Watch the video here if you dare