August 16, 2023

Avoid rodent run-ins–or rat out your landlord–with NYC’s newest interactive rat map

The mayor's notorious war on rats is heating up. Along with the recent appointment of Kathleen Corradi as the city's $155K/year rat czar, New Yorkers have some new tools in our digital rat-fighting arsenal in the form of an updated interactive map and a revamped rat information portal. Adding firepower to the battle are a handful of super-military-sounding RMZs (Rat Mitigation Zones), complete with training academies to help neighborhood combatants put up their best fight. And Harlem recently hosted an Anti-Rat Day of Action.
New rat map, this way
May 4, 2023

NYC’s containerized trash program would eliminate 150,000 parking spaces

Containerization, storage of trash in sealed bins rather than in plastic bags, is possible on 89 percent of New York City's streets with residential properties. A new analysis released by the city's Department of Sanitation this week found installing collection receptacles across the city is actually feasible, but would require the elimination of roughly 150,000 parking spaces, or 10 percent of all curb space on blocks with residential buildings. As first reported by the New York Times, the city will launch a pilot program in West Harlem this fall that will include the installation of trash containers in parking spots on up to 10 blocks and at more than a dozen schools.
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April 13, 2023

New York City hires its first-ever ‘rat czar’

New York City has finally found the rat vanquisher it's been looking for. Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday appointed Kathleen Corradi as the city's first-ever director of rodent mitigation, also referred to as the "rat czar." Corradi, who will earn $155,000, will work with city government agencies, community organizations, and private sector companies to effectively reduce the rat population across the five boroughs.
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April 5, 2023

City designates these NYC neighborhoods as ‘rat mitigation zones’

New York City this week named eight rat-prone neighborhoods as part of Mayor Eric Adams' quest to control the rodent population. According to a notice posted by the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on Monday, the "rat mitigation zones," which are areas with "high levels of rat activity," include Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, Grand Concourse in the Bronx, and Chinatown, the East Village, the Lower East Side, and Harlem in Manhattan. As Crain's reported, these identified zones will be the focus of a multiagency effort to address the rats and the conditions that cause them, according to the city.
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December 1, 2022

NYC is hiring a rat czar with a ‘virulent vehemence for vermin’

Though there may be bigger battles, New York City's war against rats is an arduous and ongoing affair. Mayor Eric Adams has positioned himself as a sworn enemy of the scurrying horde: During his time as Brooklyn Borough President, Adams expressed his distaste for the resilient rodents. Now, as mayor, Adams is seeking a fearless lieutenant to lead the extermination effort, Gothamist reports. According to a new job listing published by the city for Director of Rodent Mitigation, the individual sought for this position–"rat czar," says a City Hall spokesperson–will have a "Swashbuckling attitude, crafty humor, and general aura of badassery” and a “virulent vehemence for vermin.” In return, they can expect a salary of up to $170,000.
Rat eradication strategy ahead
October 18, 2022

NYC to fight ‘plague of rats’ by pushing back trash pick-up to 8 p.m.

New York City wants to adjust the time of day trash can be put out as a way to curb rat infestations and improve overall cleanliness. Mayor Eric Adams on Monday announced a proposal to push back the window New Yorkers can put out their trash for collection from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The city says this policy change will make the streets cleaner, ease traffic and pedestrian flow, and reduce the number of rats drawn to trash. The proposed rules are open to a public comment period through November 10, with final rules set to take effect on April 1, 2023.
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November 30, 2017

Is that an uptown rat or a downtown rat? Study says there’s a difference.

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
September 12, 2017

‘Rat Academy’ will teach Upper West Siders how to keep the neighborhood rodent-free

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
July 13, 2017

Dry ice and solar power to be used in city’s $32M rat battle

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. over here
October 28, 2016

For New York City rats, getting here is easy, surviving is tough

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
September 9, 2016

‘This American Life’ host Ira Glass sued by condo board for harboring rats and bedbugs

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.
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July 7, 2016

Find Out if a Building Has Rats Using the City’s Interactive Map

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
August 18, 2015

VIDEO: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Rats Coming up Your Toilet

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

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