NEW YORK - We're used to seeing rats in some parts of New York City. Now, New Yorkers are having rat problems in neighborhoods that prior to the pandemic did not exist.
"There's too many of them and they're big and all over the place," a woman on the Lower East Side told us.
Another woman said, "There's plenty here and they eat everything."
The city is trying to remove the rodents by hiring a rat czar. The mayor's office tweeted: "The rats are gonna hate this."
The job posting called it a dream job if you have "the drive, determination and killer instinct needed to fight the real enemy."
Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi is in charge of hiring the rat czar, which is officially called "director of rodent mitigation."
"Finding the person who not only understands the problem, wants to be an urban hero, really likes a challenge, enjoys creativity, humor and seriousness," Joshi said, "but the ability to coordinate among agencies to strategize."
M&M Pest Control owner Timothy Wong said outdoor dining structures have created rat problems in neighborhoods in all five boroughs. Some neighborhoods didn't have rat issues in the past.
"We're seeing neighborhoods really being inundated with just rat sightings in the entire blocks and burrowing into trees and into front yards, getting into cars," Wong said.
Another problem is trash bags piled up on sidewalks on collection day.
"Maybe even institute a new law about maybe requiring all the property owners to have plastic trash bins instead of putting trash in a bag and just being outside to be picked up," Wong said. "Put them in bins."
Joshi called that an excellent idea.
"Containerization throughout the city is the ultimate goal," Joshi said.
So giant plastic bins for every building and business just might be next.
'Rat Czar' Job Listing Summary
- Job Title: Director of Rodent Mitigation
- Annual Salary Range: $120,000 – $170,000
- Excerpt from Job Description: "Reporting to the Deputy Mayor for Operations and in the Mayor's Office at City Hall, the Citywide Director of Rat Mitigation is a 24/7 job requiring stamina and stagecraft. The ideal candidate is highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty, determined to look at all solutions from various angles, including improving operational efficiency, data collection, technology innovation, trash management, and wholesale slaughter."