#rats are always a menace because they not only spread disease and destroy food and crops but once they gain entry into a house they will not spare the occupants and cause damage their belongings. In order to get rid of them, people go in for rat traps or rat poison. However, when the rat menace attacks a city like New York, the authorities have to think out of the box and try out measures to eliminate them.

Health officials have indicated that in the month of February, one person died and two others were attacked by a rare disease transmitted by rats. This happened in a #Bronx neighborhood and, obviously, rodents are a menace that cannot be ignored.

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Plans of New York City

Daily Mail UK reports that one of the plans #New York City is toying with is to install equipment that can keep the rodents away and replace existing wire baskets with steel cans. This is a move in the right direction as it is easy for the rats to tip over a wire basket and reach for the contents within.

According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, the cost of introducing these measures would be around $32 million and the exercise would cover areas that are most prone to rat infestation. Some of these have been identified and include the Bronx, Chinatown, and areas in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The city has also drawn up another program to tackle the problem. This proposal is that there should be allotted times for people to leave their garbage outside and anyone who engages in illegal dumping or dos not adhere to these times could face heavy fines.

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All of these are positive steps and must be implemented because the objective should be remove the source of food that attracts the rats.

The enormity of the problem

No one knows the number of rats in the city. An attempt was made in 2014 and a figure of approximately two million was arrived at, the Daily Mail reported at the time. Before that, the thinking was that there is one rat for each person of New York City or, more than eight million rats in the city. However, the actual number is anybody’s guess.

The Health Department had undertaken a program in six sites in Manhattan and the Bronx where the population of the rodents is greatest. The authorities have zeroed in on localities and conditions that are conducive to rats and in 2015, funds to the extent of nearly $2.9 million were allotted.

There is a movie that glorifies a rat – it is named "Ratatouille." However, that was fiction and when it boils down to ground realities, one has to be wary of these pests because they are hardly ever visible and can appear from seemingly out of nowhere to wreak havoc.