Mayor Bill de Blasio is launching a $32 million program to cut the rat population by as much as 70 percent by the end of 2018 in New York City’s worst-infested neighborhoods.
Installing rat-proof garbage bins, shrinking the window when residential garbage can be left for pickup, cementing dirt basements in public housing and raising fines for “rat-related violations” will complement extermination efforts, de Blasio said of the plan, some of which requires city council approval.
The city’s worst neighborhoods for rats, according to the de Blasio administration, are the Grand Concourse area of the Bronx; Chinatown, the East Village and Lower East Side in Manhattan; and Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. These neighborhoods will serve as a pilot program for ideas that could go citywide if successful. The pilot will be in place by year’s end, de Blasio hopes.
“I don’t know any New Yorker who likes rats,” de Blasio said. “I will admit personally to having a certain admiration for Pizza Rat, but that’s the only rat I have ever managed to like.”
Pizza Rat became a viral YouTube sensation in 2015 when the rodent was filmed dragging a pizza slice on a subway staircase.
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