Rats, Begone! The City Revealed a New Rodent-Killing Method at a Bushwick NYCHA Building

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Evan Haddad


Yesterday Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a new extermination plan for the 10 most rat-infested NYCHA public housing complexes, which includes one in Bushwick.

During a public event at Bushwick Houses on Tuesday, the mayor announced that his administration will be tackling the city’s rat problem with dry ice, dropping it into the rodents’ burrows to suffocate them.

“It is a humane way to do it,” Bushwick Councilman Antonio Reynoso said at a press event. “I hear they go to sleep before they pass away.”

During a display of the dry-ice method at Tuesday’s event, NYCHA workers scurried to stomp and shovel-smash a rat after it escaped from a burrow.

The mayor’s plan is part of a $32 million effort to curb the city’s rodent population in the rattiest parts of town. Other measures include using full-time exterminators, smaller trash bins, and new concrete floors to replace the dirt ones in many NYCHA basements where rodents burrow freely.

There are an estimated 23,000 rats in the 10 NYCHA buildings. 

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Cover image courtesy of Jeffrey Zeldman

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