Officials have hired an exterminator to kill the city’s most notorious residents by gassing their burrows
New York City has long been known for its rat population – but there’s been a dramatic surge in recent years. According to a recent estimate, there are now as many as 3 million rats in New York City, an increase of nearly 1 million over the last decade. They’ve benefited from the food waste left by Covid-era outdoor diners as well as recent cuts to the city’s sanitation department, creating the “perfect storm” for a ratsplosion, says Julie Menin, a city councilmember representing Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Her office has been “inundated” with rat complaints: “We were literally hearing from parents about rats running across their children’s feet as they’re walking them to school.”
Now Menin says her district has an answer: gassing them. Amid the post-Covid rat spike, Menin’s staff researched solutions and learned that Boston and San Diego had started fumigating rats using carbon monoxide. So Menin’s office located an exterminator in New York that utilizes the technique, a veteran exterminator named Matt Deodato, “and it’s really made a big difference”. Could this be the way to finally rid New York City of its most notorious residents?