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Here’s how NYC might get rid of its rat problem


Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Everyone has had enough with the surge in rat sightings all around the city—and finally, officials seem to be doing something about it.

Last week, four members of the City Council presented the five-point "Rat Action Plan," which heavily relies on the establishment of "rat mitigation zones," where the city would be expected to double down its efforts to control the rodent population. The Sanitation Department would be tasked to come up with the parameters for each zone, also determining goals for all areas.

The proposition also includes other ideas: potential requirements for buildings to use rodent-proof trash bins and a new associated system of violations in response to possible refusals to do so. The politicians would also like to require developers to present rodent mitigation plans alongside construction project blueprints moving forward to prevent rats from showing up in the first place.

We can't say we disagree with any of the above-mentioned proposals and considering that, according to the Associated Press, 311 calls about rat complaints surged 60% in the past three years, we imagine the majority of New Yorkers to be on board as well. Also to note: back in May, rat sightings in NYC were at their very highest since 2010. That's saying a lot.

Although the vermin population is part and parcel of life in New York City, the recent pandemic has made the problem even more visible. As trash collects on the streets, for example, rodents rush out to burrow through it and find food.

So common is the rat issue that the city even operates an entire rat information portal that highlights up-to-date rat inspection results and follow-up actions through an interactive map. 

You can find the portal right here, where you can search by address, borough, block, lot number or neighborhood and look up specific rat inspection history. As expected, looking through the tool might make you a bit nauseous so peruse it at your own risk.

Back to the proposed plan: fingers crossed that it will turn into action in the very near future. 

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