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.

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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.”

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“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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