We have become disturbingly complacent when it comes to the fight against our ancient foe, the rat, which now outnumbers people in New York by 2 to 1. They are everywhere — in the garbage, on the sidewalk, on the train, on the breakfast pastries — yet the most that anyone can (or will) do about the enormous vermin is take a cell phone video of them. Thankfully, that might be about to change.
Starting in July, the city’s inspectors will get nine new employees and $611,000 for a pilot program aimed at clearing rats from the most infested neighborhoods, including Washington Heights, West Harlem, Chinatown, the Lower East Side, and the South Bronx. The Associated Press reports that these new anti-rat forces will be working with “neighborhood associations, community boards, elected officials and building owners to plug up holes and put poison in rodent tunnels.” Those tactics sound kind of dull to us, so we’ll just assume that the real strategy is being kept out of the press to avoid giving away our position to the enemy.