Rats rule New York



African News Agency



OH, RATS! As New Yorkers emerge from pandemic, so do rodents. They crawled to the surface as the coronavirus pandemic roiled New York City, scurrying out of subterranean nests into the open air, feasting on a smorgasbord of scraps in streets, parks and mounds of curbside garbage. As diners shunned the indoors for outdoor dining, so did the city’s rats. Through April, people have called in some 7400 rat sightings to the city’s 311 service request line. That’s up from about 6 150 during the same period last year, and up by more than 60% from the first four months of 2019. In each of the first four months of this year, the number of sightings was the highest recorded since at least 2010, the first year online records are available. By comparison, there were about 10500 sightings in all of 2010 and 25 000 such reports in all of last year (sightings are most frequent during warm months). Whether the rat population has increased is up for debate, but the pandemic might have made the situation more visible. Mayor Eric Adams recently announced the city’s latest effort: padlocked curbside trash bins intended to reduce the big piles of garbage bags that turn into a buffet for rodents. |