New York City’s Rat Problem Is Worse Than Ever

Photo: Getty Images.
Apparently, pizza Rat was not just a figment of the internet's overactive desire for gross videos. The New York Post reports that complaints about rats on New York City's 311 hotline are up 18% from last year. That's 8,335 calls this year so far, compared to 7,076 made by the same time in 2015. That only accounts for how many times people picked up the phone to tell the city to do something about it, so imagine how many more times someone saw a rat and just scurried home to hide. "There are more mountains of garbage on the street waiting to be picked up," Susan Stetzer, a district manager for Community Board 3, representing Manhattan's Lower East Side, Chinatown, and the East Village, told the Post. "Our increased development does not have the infrastructure to support it." An exterminator suggested to the paper that the problem stems the city's homeless population searching through thrown-out food. The vermin are getting bolder, too, appearing earlier in the day. This is all happening despite the fact that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio spent $3 million to curb this pest problem last year.