Some rat researchers have said the city should focus more on human behavior, including improving waste disposal
New York City officials have found a new way to kill rats that’s so effective an entire population on an Upper East Side street has been all but exterminated.
Councilmember Julie Menin told Gothamist the method has successfully eliminated over 100 rat burrows on a section of East 86th Street since the effort was launched last year. The strategy involves pumping carbon monoxide directly into the rat burrows that are found in sidewalk tree beds.
“The method demonstrated an impressive eradication rate of nearly 100% in the tree pits where it was applied,” Menin’s office said in a release, according to Gothamist.
Menin said the strategy was first used on the East 86th Street corridor due to the high number of complaints about rats in the area, in part due to all the retail shops and trash that is left out.
“It was bad here, man,” Ibrahim Asmal, a 53-year-old merchant who sells newspapers and candies on the street, told New York Daily News earlier this year, adding rats often would get into his products. “When they get in, they bite things. And then you have to throw things out.”
The outlet reported that the city’s initial response, setting out black poison bait boxes, didn’t work out — some of the rats even moved into the boxes. Eventually, Menin allocated $10,000 to hire exterminator Matt Deodato, the president of Urban Pest Management who’s been referred to as “Matt the Rat Killer,” the outlet reported.
Deodato uses the carbon monoxide method to suffocate the rats, with the help of a machine called BurrowRX, which costs about $3,000.
Gothamist reported Menin has since set aside $30,000 to fund the carbon monoxide technique. “This is not the panacea that’s going to solve all of New York City’s rat problems, but it’s a very effective tool for the tree pit issue,” she said. The program is set to expand to other areas where there are a lot of complaints, including the area of East 75th Street between Second and Third Avenue.
After vowing to address the New York City’s rat issue, Mayor Eric Adams appointed a rat czar earlier this year. In addition to the carbon monoxide method, the city has also tried spring traps, poisons, and rat birth control.
Some rat researchers have said the city should focus more on human behavior, including improving waste disposal methods.
Menin’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Source: Business Insider