With bed bugs stealing all the headlines lately, rats have been getting an easy ride in the ongoing debate on the most-hated NYC Pest. Now, however, New York officials have been cracking down on the best way to eliminate the detestable rodent from our subways. For some building a better mousetrap, has never seemed more urgent.
First, some interesting facts from some citywide surveys:
- A recent study by New York State Senator Bill Perkins of the 30th district (Upper West Side and Harlem) released last week, found that 80% of those surveyed said the rat problem in the subway was severe or in a state of emergency.
- Back in June, Bloomberg’s Board of Health released findings that said rats live inside station walls and not deep in subway tunnels. The leave their holes in search for food, steering clear of supposedly of the third rail.
- According to Perkins, Malaysia represents a worst-case scenario of what could happen in New York City if the rat problem were left to persist unchecked. After a significant spike in Leptospirosis deaths this year, with reportedly 100 deaths so far this year, some parks have been closed due to this vermin-spread disease.
In light of this information, officials have bandied about two solutions on how best to rid the subways of rats. But do they go far enough?
- Senator Perkins presents some solid arguments for a global ban on eating in the NYC subway as a sure-fire way of starving out the rats. He cites rat-free subways around the country and across the globe that are 100% food free.
- The Bloomberg administration and their study acknowledges that littering passengers contribute to the rat problem, and recommends that “refuse rooms” be installed with poison like subway tracks. Also investments should be made in sophisticated trapping systems, ideally if the MTA budget allowed this.
What do you think? Would you agree to stop eating in the subway to avoid seeing rats? Or should money be spent to corner rats where they play in the MTA? What other solutions are out there that NYC could adopt as their own?