[EVG file photo]
When Caroline Bragdon, a rat expert with the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, walks through the East Village, she's not looking at the people or the storefronts. Her eyes point down, at the place where the sidewalk meets the buildings and the street. "If you look really carefully, you can even see their hairs," Bragdon says, pointing to a little hole in the sidewalk next to a sewer grate. "When we see something like this, what we say to each other is, 'This catch basin is hot.' You know, 'This is ratty.' "
By that measure, this is one of the hottest neighborhoods in New York City. And it's one of the testing grounds for the city's new "rat reservoir pilot" — an initiative to try to reduce the rat population in neighborhoods with chronic infestations. Part of the plan is to hire extra exterminators and to seal up holes in sidewalks, parks and other public infrastructure. Rats can squeeze through the tiniest opening "in doors, in windows, in sidewalk curbs, in any building infrastructure," says Bragdon. "Rats only need a hole or a gap the size of a quarter to enter."
Woo! Maybe we can think of some other 'reservoir pilots' for the neighborhood!
Read/listen to the full report here.
H/T EVG reader Andréa