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The New York rat problem is well-established, well-known, and next to it is pop Wikipedia entry A very dedicated and rich repertoire of anecdotes E Viral videos who said it After the lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, the situation appears to have worsened, with a significant increase in circulating rats.

The The New York Times, citing a number of recent reportsMice that climb on tables during an outdoor lunch Mice that congregate in front of building doors in such numbers that it is necessary to make noise and frighten them to enter Mice that invade the closed outdoor areas of restaurants Mice in garden shrubs Mice cross the street in broad daylight People They walk on a (live) mouse, self-propelled garbage bags that detect a mouse inside.

It is not easy to calculate the numbers of mice accurately, but one can get an idea of ​​their increase starting from some signals. For example, there were 21,000 reports of rats to city authorities in 2021 (15,000 in 2019 at this time of year), and the number of times health inspectors found evidence of rats doubled. In addition, there have been 15 cases this year (including one fatal) in New York leptospirosisAn infection that can have severe consequences for the liver and kidneys is transmitted through the urine of rats – the highest number since 2006.

According to experts, pesticides and municipal officials, this situation occurred due to a combination of several factors.
When restaurants closed due to the pandemic, the rats were forced to scavenge for food outdoors more than they did before, but it worked well: They found drains and bins on street corners clogged with rubbish, which collected in less time. And effective method since last year there have been reductions in The municipal department that deals with garbage. With the lockdowns and the confinement of city residents to their homes, the amount of household waste and its illegal scattering has increased. With the city reopening, construction sites have also restarted, whose activities tend to allow rats out in the open. Furthermore, many restaurants have equipped outdoor tables and sinks, making leftovers more accessible.

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Meanwhile, inspectors who would normally check on mice were given other monitoring tasks, such as checking that restaurants checked vaccination certificates. Finally, the summer of 2021 in New York was wetter than usual, a favorable condition for the life of rats, whose annual population reached its annual peak in October.

For years, the city has been researching and experimenting with strategies to keep the rat population (including the painless rats) under control Which makes it sterile female); In 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio approved a $32 million – nearly €29 million – plan that introduced a more efficient system for collecting garbage (which in New York remains on the street for an entire night before garbage collectors collect it, which is a big part of problem) and waste pressure containers.

Other methods used include poisoned baits, traps containing liquid in which mice are drowned (It is very effective By the new mayor, Eric Adams), dry ice is introduced into burrows.

But experts say none of these strategies can be effective as long as rats continue to get plenty of food, and that better management of city waste must begin.
Edward Grayson, head of the department that deals with trash, says that – after the previous year’s cuts – the department’s resources have been largely restored, and that it is doing “everything in its power to keep the streets clean”.

– Read also: “The Rats Take New York”


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