New York City has announced a $32 million, multi-agency plan to reduce the rat population, which is estimated to number roughly 2 million and has included the likes of pizza rat. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday the plan will target rats in the Grand Concourse area of the Bronx; Chinatown, the East Village and the Lower East Side in Manhattan; and the Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant areas of Brooklyn. The goal, per NBC New York: up to a 70% drop in the rat population in those areas. By September, the city will start installing solar compactors with rat-resistant openings and replacing wire waste baskets with steel cans, reports the AP.
It also plans to cement basement floors in public housing, where some floors are currently dirt ones, notes Gothamist. Proposed legislation would regulate the hours garbage could be left at the curb, and increase fines for illegal dumping. It doesn't take much to sustain a rat, Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia notes: They can survive on an ounce of food daily. In February, health officials said one person had died and two others were severely sickened in a Bronx neighborhood due to a rare disease transmitted by rats. (Read more rats stories.)