Watch the monologue about the rat problem in the big apple.
Video credit: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Because New Yorkers typically leave their garbage outside on the curb overnight before it’s collected the next morning, there has been an upsurge of rats who have seen fit to feast on this unintended bounty.
The New York Times and OpenTheBooks.com both reported that the city’s 311 hotline received 12,617 rat sighting reports in 2014. But that statistic rose to 17,353 (38% higher) by 2018. According to the Times, “In the same period, the number of times that city health inspections found active signs of rats nearly doubled.”
In a clear sign that there is a rat outbreak, last year, city health inspections noted 30,874 “active rat signs,” as opposed to 16,315 in 2014. And in a three-month period starting January 1, 2019, there were 8,003 active rat signs reported compared to 6,787 in the same period last year.
In February 2017, a Bronx resident died as a result of coming into contact with rat urine, reported NBC News. Leptospirosis infections affected the 700 block of Grand Concourse, resulting in three people being infected with one fatality.
Noted the Times, “But after dropping last year, rat sightings are again on the upswing. The top spot for rat sighting complaints has been the Upper West Side, where residents are known for speaking up, followed by four Brooklyn neighborhoods: Prospect Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, and Ocean Hill.”
Speaking to the Times, Michael Deutsch, an entomologist, said, “You can’t just go in and order an airstrike — and then leave. Rat populations can rebound unless you are always pressing them.”
Laura Anglin, deputy mayor of operations, had to admit, “There is no doubt that rats have a major impact on New Yorkers’ quality of life and this administration takes seriously our responsibility to control and mitigate their population. No New Yorker likes having rats in their community and we are committed to continuing the work of controlling rats in all of our neighborhoods.”
In an interview with The Guardian in December 2018, rat-catching consultant Bobby Corrigan said: “We are at war but we don’t have weapons to fight the war.
We could get the rat numbers down to tolerable levels but we need to rethink our whole system of doing things.There are litter baskets all over New York City and every night you see rats in there gorging themselves because it’s easy. There are mountains of bags of garbage in the city and the rats are saying, ‘Thanks, we will bite through that and eat at will.
’ The rats are taking advantage of our weaknesses.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had an elaborate plan to eradicate rats which the Wall Street Journal reported on in April 2017:
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said 10 New York City Housing Authority developments will get dry-ice rat abatement treatments, exterminators, new wastebaskets, trash compactors and concrete floors to cover dirt-floor basements … “Our city is associated for many generations with the problem of rats,” he said. “A lot of people have tried to win this war and haven’t succeeded.”
“Burger King Branch Shuts Down After A Video Of Rats Running Inside The Bags Of Buns Goes Viral”