Rats, much like weekend subway track work, are a fact of life in New York City—if they're not nibbling on your morning doughnut or sneaking onto the A train, they're probably poised for battle in your trash bins, just waiting for you to set foot on your doorstep so they can scamper across your toes. Now, though, the city says they're REALLY GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, with Mayor de Blasio allotting hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Health Department to combat "rat reservoirs." There's only room for one army of rodents in this town now.
The Health Department says that De Blasio's budget will hand them $611,000 to smite these so-called "rat reservoirs," with nine inspectors—appropriately dubbed the "rat squad," apparently—set to exterminate rat-heavy spots in Manhattan and the Bronx. "Rats burrow and live in colonies," Health Commissioner Mary Bassett told City Council yesterday. "I'll sometimes imagine when I walk through a park, if I could have sort of a 'rat vision,' there are all these tunnels under there that are occupied by rats. And from there the rats fan out." Like a dream!
It's unclear which specific areas will be targeted as part of Rat Judgment Day and the Health Department did not respond to request for comment, though the city does keep tabs on where rats and ratholes are spotted in specific neighborhoods. Previous attempts to thwart the rat invasion have included sealing off garbage rooms in the subway system, feeding rats birth control and getting rid of trash cans altogether. But the rats are still merely laughing at us, rubbing their little rat paws together with glee, and hijacking our parked cars, so who knows if we'll ever win this war.
SPOILER: We'll never win.