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New York City Appoints Their First Rat Czar. What Does This Mean For The Future Of Pest Control

New York City, also known as The Big Apple, is one of the most densely populated areas in the entire country. Not only is New York City densely populated with residents and tourists, but it also has an increasingly serious rat problem. With the rat problem on the rise, NYC has recently made the decision to opt for even more rodent control by appointing Kathleen Corradi as New York City’s new ‘Rat Czar’.

The Rat Problem in NYC

Rats have always been an issue in crowded areas such as cities like New York. However, NYC has seen a boom in rat infestation with little to no relief. In 1950, it was estimated that there were approximately 250,000 rats living in the streets and tunnels of New York City. By 2014, the number of rats had grown to a staggering 2 million in total. Unfortunately, the rat infestation in the city has not shown any signs of slowing down any time soon.

In 2022, it was estimated that sightings of rats on the streets and in public areas have increased by more than 40 percent in total (in just the first 11 months of 2021). In 2021 and 2022, the rat sightings jumped significantly to nearly 28,000 reports in total. Not only has the population of rats drastically increased in a few short decades, but the infestation itself has also spread. In 1974, it was estimated that approximately 11% of the city was afflicted with rats or a form of rat infestation. Today, the percentage of boroughs and areas of the city that are impacted by the rat infestation is closer to 80-90 percent.

What is the Rat Czar’s Position in New York City?

Because of the growing risks of rat infestations and pests throughout the city of New York, Mayor Adams has recently appointed Kathleen Corradi to be the city’s very first ‘Rat Czar’. Corradi’s job will be to determine the level of community engagement, development, and operations that are available throughout the city to assist with pest control treatment.

While the position is new, Kathy will work alongside wildlife control companies and a local pest control companies with the initial $3.5 million dollar investment awarded to reduce rats in and throughout Harlem. Corradi will be responsible for spearheading and managing the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone project to help spread assistance around Harlem when it comes to managing rats.

Kathy Corradi will take on the responsibility of testing potential mitigation techniques through a multi-agency effort to ensure that the process goes smoothly at all times. She will also be responsible for increasing remediation solutions, maintenance services, and pest control treatment in specific areas, regions, and boroughs. Additionally, Kathy Corradi will also work towards expanding both educational and outreach efforts with the hopes of spreading the word about rodent removal services that are becoming more prevalent in Harlem.

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What is the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone?

One of the very first projects assigned to New York’s new Rat Czar, Kathy Corradi, is the management and overseeing of the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone project. Four agencies in NYC have pledged to invest up to $3.5 million in the initiative to help with reducing the number of rats that live and thrive in Harlem and in surrounding zones. Included in the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone project is the following:

  • 28 NYCHA properties
  • 73 NYC Park locations
  • 70 DOE schools
  • 10,000 private properties in total

New technologies and methods of mitigation and remediation will be deployed with the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone with the assistance of a local pest control company as well as full-time staff. Some of the technologies and solutions that are intended for the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone project include;

  • Hiring staff: Working with a total of 19 full-time staffers as well as 14 seasonal staffers it will be possible to help oversee the management and remediation of rats in local boroughs and vicinities.
  • Equipment: Equipment is essential when dealing with rodent control and handling a commercial cleaning service, especially on a major scale. Equipment such as bait, sensors, traps, fumigation machines, and even machines to assist with waste management will also be provided for staff members.
  • Rat Slabs: The use of Rat Slabs and rat houses can help with mitigating rat infections. When used properly, they can also help to harden flooring while minimizing the risk of a rat infestation and rat burrowing.

Common Sense Tips for NYC Residents

Residents of NYC who are interested in assisting with the rat mitigation efforts can do so by implementing the following common sense protocols and tactics in their own households:

  • Empty trash regularly: Living in a crowded city such as NYC requires constant maintenance and upkeep to prevent pest and rat infestations. Always take out the trash in a timely manner, even if you live alone. Avoid allowing food or other degradable products to sit out in your home, which can quickly attract pests. Regularly empty trash and ensure that your trash bags are closed and secure.
  • Avoid feeding wildlife: Regardless of where you are located in New York City, it is never advisable to spend time feeding the nearby wildlife. Feeding wildlife will not only keep the wildlife coming back for more, but it will signal to other creatures, including rats, that there is food near your home.
  • Take care of pets such as dogs: If you have a dog in NYC, it’s imperative to always clean up after them. Picking up after your dog will also minimize the risk of attracting rats to your home or apartment building. If you plan to travel for a few days or even a week, be sure to check into dog boarding solutions for your pets. This will minimize the mess and risk in your home while simultaneously providing them with a safe and comfortable environment.

If you believe your home or apartment is already attracting rats, there are a few tips to keep in mind, such as:

  • Seal cracks and entrances: Spend time inspecting the exterior of your home or apartment in NYC. Consider sealing any potentially exposed cracks or openings that may be leading inside. Seal additional holes that can be found on the side of your building or even near any entryway doors you use.
  • Maintain your space: Keeping your house or apartment as clean as possible at all times is essential when living in New York City. Close off entrances and cracks and ensure your wiring remains clean and clear from rats and other potential infestations. Call a local electrician to help inspect your wiring to verify that it is safe and protected.
  • Cover rat holes: In some cases, you may spot rat holes outside of your apartment or home. These are commonly known as rat burrows and can be a clear indicator of where a problem is located or where rats are entering a home or commercial space. If you’re unsure of where you begin, consider calling on a green pest control program to ensure the job is done safely and humanely.
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Risks of Pest Infestations Involving Rats

Dealing with any type of pest infestation is never pleasant, especially when you are overwhelmed by rats. Rats can pose numerous risks, including health risks that should never be ignored. Some of the biggest risks of pest infestations that involve rats include:

  • Health risks: Potential health risks such as respiratory issues, fungus issues, viruses, and other bacteria can be spread by rats, infecting humans. Other deadly viruses that are known to be transmitted by various pests include West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease, malaria, and different plagues (depending on where you reside). Keep in mind that the more rats you have in or around your property, the more likely they are to breed and continue to populate the area. The risk of health issues related to fecal matter and rat droppings will also skyrocket if a rat infestation is not immediately addressed and remedied. Keep in mind that rats also have the potential of triggering various allergic responses, similar to cockroaches that trigger asthma in children.
  • Property damage: Another potential risk of a pest infection includes property damage. When dealing with a mass of pests such as rats, you run the risk of having the structure of your current home or property attacked and/or damaged, especially if the rats are left to live in your home or apartment for an extended period of time.
  • Bites: Dealing with rats can feel overwhelming at times, prompting you to check into local moving companies to weigh your options. When dealing with rabid rats in any scenario, there is also an increased risk of being bitten. Exposure to rabid rats can lead to additional viruses and allergic responses if the wounds are not tended to immediately.
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Why Pest Control Matters

Did you know that approximately 20% of the globe’s entire food supply is eaten and consumed by rodents? That staggering percentage alone is enough reason why pest control matters. Whether you are managing commercial properties or want to prevent a potential infestation in your own home or apartment in NYC, there are many benefits to working with a local pest control company. Searching for humane rodent removal near me can connect you with local no kill pest control options.

Pest control companies understand what type of pests they are up against, depending on where you live and your most prevalent issues in the region. Those who work for wildlife control companies or a local pest control company are also well-versed in assessing potential situations to determine the best course of action that is right for your needs.

When working with a local pest control company, it is also much easier to get to the bottom of an infestation, whether it is just beginning or if you have been dealing with a rat infestation for months or even years. Pest control specialists who work and live in NYC are also familiar with potential causes and hotspots that may be located near you. When you have professional pest control treatment options, it is much easier to maintain your peace of mind.

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Advantages of Regular Pest Control Maintenance

Choosing to work with a local pest control company in your apartment or home in NYC is highly recommended, even if you have experience handling pests on your own. Searching for humane rodent removal near me can result in finding professionals who specialize in pest control and remediation, understand the importance of rooting out the issue, and discover the cause of the infestation itself. When you choose to work with a local pest control company, you will not only have peace of mind when it comes to your rat infestation, but you will also learn how to handle potential infestations in the future. Searching for humane rodent removal near me can also ensure you find no kill pest control. Although you may be anxious to rid your home of pests, many homeowners also have an ethical stance towards humane and no kill pest control. Some of the most notable advantages of regular pest control and maintenance include:

  • Learn to identify potential problem areas in and around your home or apartment building.
  • Identify potential pests and root causes. Learn more about how specific types of pests thrive and in what type of environment. Discover how to reinforce your own property to keep the pests from making it a target of their own.
  • Maintain peace of mind knowing that you are receiving professional pest control treatment that is most suitable for your home or apartment. Ask questions about specific pest control methods and measures use for your home or apartment.
  • Learn how to keep pests from coming back in the future (including rats). Gain knowledge of rat burrows and potential entry points in your building to protect and block them in the future.
  • Receive ongoing maintenance services to ensure that there are no potential pest problems brewing. Maintain pest control treatment to minimize the risk of a potential rat infestation in the near future.

Understanding the significance of the rat infestation problem in New York City is essential for residents, tourists, and property investors alike. With the Harlem Mitigation Zone project, New York’s new Rat Czar, Kathy Corradi hopes to not only bring more awareness to the issues surrounding rat infestations in the city, but also viable long-term solutions for all. Most importantly, the efforts made by NYC Rat Czar Kathy Corradi may influence the future of humane non lethal pest control.