You may have noticed the red flags around areas of Tompkins Square Park.
EVG contributor Derek Berg points out that these are in place to note where Park workers have placed dry ice pellets into the burrows where rats live.
The city of Boston started employing this method of rat control back in the spring as a non-toxic alternative to poisons.
Here's more from William Christopher, commissioner of Boston's Inspectional Services Department, with an explanation in an article from the Globe this past April:
Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide. As it melts, it turns into carbon dioxide gas, which fills the burrow, suffocating any rats inside.
Christopher said it is a more humane way of killing the rodents — and significantly cheaper than using rat poison.
He said his staff has used more than 400 pounds of dry ice over the past six weeks, and that altogether it cost just $225.
“The simplicity of this process is one of the things that most intrigues me,” he added. “And the success is what has me very excited.”
Using dry ice reduces the risk to other animals and children that poison can pose, he said.
Other cities, including New York, are also now experimenting with dry ice.
As previously reported, our very own Community District 3 ranked No. 1 in 2015, according to the Health Department, as having the worst rat problem in Manhattan. And apparently the city's rat complaint record set last year will fall in 2016.