Rats in New York continue to play hide and seek with the administration and methods that are normally used to contain them, have failed to check the growing menace of these rodents. Rat sightings in the city were 17,353 last year and the corresponding figure for 2014 was 12,617. This increase is a serious matter. Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, has come up with a revolutionary concept to tackle the problem.

He wants to drown the pests in alcohol. The device, touted as a high-tech solution, has bait. Once the rodent tries to reach it, a trap door opens and it falls into a solution of alcohol and drowns. A single trap can hold multiple carcasses. Reporters who attended the program did not appear to be impressed. One of them described it as “disgusting.”

New York Times says Eric Adams wants to install these traps in selected locations in Brooklyn.

If the experiment succeeds, he would expand the methodology citywide. However, it has already suffered a setback. His office positioned five boxes in and around Brooklyn Borough Hall. A very large rat disabled one of these. The rat was oversized.

Rat menace in New York is as old as the city

The administration has been trying out every possible method but the problem keeps coming back.

The Giuliani administration tried out rat poison. The feedback from an exterminator in Manhattan and Brooklyn was that the population had grown over the last two years, and the rats appear to be healthier. This could be because they have become immune to poison. Another option tried out was rat birth control. It was tested in 2011 and subsequently implemented by the Department of Health. It was a pilot program in 2017 and is still active.

New York Times recalls an incident from 1865 when one of its reporters said traps are not of much use and suggested they requisition the services of a Pied Piper who could lure the rodents to their death. In 2017, the de Blasio administration decided to use dry ice to block the burrows.

The rats died of suffocation and it did reduce the numbers. However, it was a tedious process. In this context, the contraption of Eric Adams is the latest addition. The fact remains that residents of the city have a major role to play to curb the rat population in New York City. They have to cultivate the culture of proper disposal of garbage because this attracts them.

Latest weapon to eliminate rats

According to The Guardian, New York City has added another weapon in its arsenal to remove rats from the city.

It is an alcohol death trap named Ekomille. The battery-operated device resembles a two-foot-high cabinet with a pool of alcohol-based liquid. The rats drown in this. During a month-long trial in Brooklyn, more than 100 rodents met their end. Borough President Eric Adams is in favor of this and said - “It’s humane and environmentally friendly.”

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