Rat czar tasks city agencies to work together to combat infestations

Mayor Eric Adams said at a press conference on Tuesday that rat complaints have decreased in the rat mitigation zones and citywide. 

Ashley Mastronardi

Apr 16, 2024, 11:03 PM

Updated 43 days ago

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Kathy Corradi, New York City's rat czar, isn’t afraid to get her hands – or her shovel dirty.
“If any rats had used that as an opening if they come back then they’ll have to redig that,” she told News 12 after collapsing a rat borough. 
Officials say there were once four dozen rat boroughs surrounding Booker T. Washington Middle School on the Upper West Side, and after being pumped with carbon dioxide, Corradi personally collapsed the last one. After, she debriefed with her team. 
“The rats don’t care about jurisdiction. So as city agencies, we have to keep doing better and better,” she told them.   
She says connecting those agencies makes her approach different from those tasked with solving the rat crisis before. Mayor Eric Adams said at a press conference on Tuesday that rat complaints have decreased in the rat mitigation zones and citywide. 
“We’re working very closely with Parks, New York City Housing Authority, Department of Health, Sanitation,” Corradi told News 12 New York.   
“Thinking about what the root causes of rats’ ability to thrive in NYC – thinking about food sources, harborage conditions, that’s places they can live and then thinking about new ways where exterminating, not just on singular properties, but thinking about this approach as a whole city,” she added. 
For example, the Department of Sanitation may provide garbage containers for a school, but the Department of Education must sort the waste they put in them. Corradi says New Yorkers can also do their part.  “Make sure you’re not discarding items outside of a trash can. A rat only needs 1 ounce of food a day to survive, so we need 8.5 million New Yorkers and all our visitors to understand that they have a part in the solution,” she said.  Corradi says you can head to nyc.gov/rats to learn more about rats, how to prevent them and about the city’s Rat Academy trainings. 


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