In response to a rising tide of 311 complaints following Hurricane Sandy, some city council members are calling for a six-month rat remediation program. "As New Yorkers, we have a certain level of tolerance for rats. But this is a real public health issue, and people are rightly concerned," councilwoman Jessica Lappin told the Times. As rats made their way to higher, warmer ground after the storm, Lappin noted an increase in 311 complaints in the Lower East Side, Lower Manhattan, Red Hook, Greenpoint, and Coney Island. Lappin's program would cost around $500,000, and has the support of city council speaker Christine Quinn, but the rats could also be eradicated with one, simple sentence uttered at a mayoral press conference.
The neighborhood with the most rat complaints is the Lower East Side, with 123 calls in this year alone. "It's just gotten so bad," managing partner of the pest control center M&M Environment said, noting that he began this week with 33 emergency calls throughout the city. "So many calls. It's just crazy. There's just so much debris and garbage, and rats are having a field day." In a map of 311 rodent complaints from 2010 to 2012, Bushwick had the most, with as many as 900 calls in those two years alone.
The city has yet to deploy snipers to eradicate rats, but perhaps a bounty system could be put in place? Just imagine the boutique, barter-based economy that would flourish once rat shawls start lighting up Hipsturbia.