News

May 27, 2024

New York City Mayor announces national rat summit to tackle rodent problems

New York City Mayor announces national rat summit to tackle rodent problems

The United States’ New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, has disclosed that there will be an inaugural National Urban Rat Summit to combat the worsening rodent problems.

In a press release on Wednesday, Adams said the summit will take place on September 18 and 19 to assemble the best individuals in rat business from Boston, New Orleans and Seattle.

While making the statement, the mayor said “I hate rats” and the “best way to defeat our enemy is to know our enemy.”

According to the mayor, the summit is meant to bring experts on rats — “from researchers at academic institutions to municipal pest control managers” — to share “best practices” and discuss “rodent mitigation, and advance the science of urban rat management”.

“New Yorkers may not know this about me, but I hate rats, and I’m confident most of our city’s residents do as well,” Adams said. 

“With rat sightings down nearly 14% in our city’s Rat Mitigation Zones year over year, we continue to make progress, but we’re not stopping there. The best way to defeat our enemy is to know our enemy. That’s why we’re holding this inaugural summit.”

Speaking about the challenges of rats, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Sue Donoghue said that the city is “laser focused” on containing and mitigating rats.

“New York City is laser-focused on rat control and we’re grateful to Mayor Adams and Cornell University for spearheading this summit that will advance best practices and allow cities from across the nation to collaborate on ways to keep rats on the run,” Donoghue said.

Reports have emerged of the rising population of rats in NYC found on subway tunnels and burrows within empty lots and city parks, which has driven out a number of the residents to other neighbouring cities and states.

Last month, New York City health officials issued a warning about the increase in transmitted bacterial illness spread by rat urine after 24 cases were reported in 2023, the most for any year. 

Six cases of leptospirosis connected to rat urine have been reported so far in New York City, according to city health officials. 

Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, trouble breathing and, in extreme cases, death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The homeless population or people living in shelters or other facilities where large clusters of people live in tight corridors are at a higher risk of contracting the disease, which has symptoms that can be mistaken for other illnesses, the CDC said.