The increase of some of the world’s most invasive furry rodents in American cities is being blamed on the young and upwardly bound. There is no doubt in the slightest that additional trash draws scavenging omnivores, but are the people running New York and other major American cities seriously going to tell the world that an increased rat infestation is due to restaurant goers leftovers?
It seems so.
A Manhattan avenue lined with trendy restaurants has become a destination for foodies — and rats who help themselves to their leftovers….
Rat sightings reported to the city’s 311 hotline have soared nearly 38 percent, to 17,353 last year from 12,617 in 2014, according to an analysis of city data by OpenTheBooks.com, a nonprofit watchdog group, and The New York Times. In the same period, the number of times that city health inspections found active signs of rats nearly doubled….
One key reason rats seem to be everywhere? Gentrification. The city’s construction boom is digging up burrows, forcing more rats out into the open, scientists and pest control experts say.
Restaurant-goers and new construction cannot be the only reason for this. Naturally, one of the science fads in the news is also being blamed.
Milder winters — the result of climate change — make it easier for rats to survive and reproduce. And New York’s growing population and thriving tourism has brought more trash for rats to feed on.
And New York is not the only city experiencing an uptick in the number of disease-carrying rodents running wild.
Chicago — crowned the nation’s rat capital in one study — has more than doubled its work crews dedicated to rats, who set out poison and fill in burrows in parks, alleys and backyards. It also passed ordinances requiring developers and contractors to have a rat-control plan before demolishing buildings or breaking ground on new projects.
Washington, where rat complaints have nearly tripled to roughly 6,000 last year from 2,400 in 2014, is testing a rat-sterilization program tried elsewhere that uses liquid contraceptives as bait.
Good luck with that.
Whatever is going on, the rat population in North America is on the rise, and action needs to be taken to kill them off. Using contraceptive based poison…sure.