Rat Assault: New York seeks hands-on chief in battle in opposition to rodents

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Do you hate rats? Are you a “slightly bloodthirsty” New Yorker with excellent communication skills and “a general aura of badassery”? Then you might have what it takes to be the city’s new rat tsar.

Mayor Eric Adams’ administration this week posted a job listing seeking someone to lead the city’s long-standing fight against rats. The official job title is “rodent control director,” though she was promptly dubbed the Rat Czar. The salary range is from US$120,000 to US$170,000 (NZD188,000 to 267,000).

“The ideal candidate is highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty and determined to look at all solutions from multiple angles including improving operational efficiencies, data collection, technological innovation, waste management and wholesale slaughter,” the ad reads.

The posting is whimsical, but the work is daunting.

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Richard Drew/AP

“Smart, gluttonous and productive, the rats of New York City are legendary for their survival skills, but they don’t rule this city — we do,” the post claimed.

New York City leaders have tried to control the rodent population for generations, with mixed results. Sightings of rats in parks, sidewalks, and other places around the city have increased recently.

City rats have survived a multi-million dollar effort under former Mayor Bill de Blasio that focused on more garbage collection and better home inspections in certain neighborhoods. The city also started a program of using dry ice to suffocate rats in their lairs.

Adams, when he was borough president of Brooklyn, once demonstrated a trap that used a bucket filled with a poisonous soup to drown rats attracted by the smell of food.

Now the Adams administration is looking for a top rat bureaucrat to become the public face of the city’s eradication and education efforts.

“Smart, gluttonous and productive, the rats of New York City are legendary for their survival skills, but they don’t rule this city — we do,” the post claimed.

Applicants are expected to have a sly sense of humor and “lead from the front and apply practical techniques to eradicate rodents with authority and efficiency.”