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NYC Launches New War Against Rats

Rat scurrying on a city street. (file/credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

Rat scurrying on a city street. (file/credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The city is launching a new war against rats.

It will target so-called “rat reservoirs,” which are areas where rodent populations survive and thrive, such as subways, sewers and city parks.

One City Council member described the rat problem in the Manhattan Valley neighborhood as “an epidemic.”

The city will hire new inspectors and spend $600,000 for rat indexing to track and reduce the rat population, WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane reported.

It’s welcome news for many city residents, who claim rats — some the size of small dogs or cats — are running rampant in their neighborhoods.

“When I walked out the other morning and there were like six rats running around,” one Manhattan Valley resident said. “I thought, ‘You ever get use to this?’ But you don’t.”

“I see about 20 a day,” a man in Washington Heights told 1010 WINS’ John Montone.

One woman said rats have infested her building on 154th Street, where one rodent bit a neighbor’s daughter.

“They’re taking over, it’s madness,” she said.

A sanitation worker said he has to shake and kick bags of garbage to scatter the rats for fear they’ll jump up and bite him.

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