NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio is doubling down on the war on rats in New York City, pledging three-quarters of a million dollars to fight the scourge.

He made the announcement Thursday at a park in the Upper West Side.

Parents have complained that rats have taken over parks in the area, with some residents saying the animals have attempted to jump into their children’s strollers.

“The stories on the parent boards and forums about aggressive rats crawling in strollers and sandboxes have been dreadful,” resident and parent Thalia Etra said.

The mayor says his administration plans to replace wire trash cans with 29 solar compactors and four solid steel cans at eight playgrounds and parks. City officials say parks enforcement officers also will step up litter patrols.

“Our goal is to beat back the rats and make these places safe and clean for everyone who uses them,” de Blasio said. “Parents in particular should never have to worry about rats ending up in the same sand box as their children.”

The additional $750,000 in funding comes after de Blasio rolled out $32 million for a Neighborhood Rat Reduction plan earlier this year.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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