Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
- New York City Mayor Eric Adams appointed a “rat czar” to help eliminate rodents in the city.
- One Boston city official says the Massachusetts city should follow suit and hire a rat slayer of their own.
- Boston and Chicago residents also report stories of rats terrorizing their cities.
New York City officially has a rat czar, which is serving as inspiration for other major cities battling their own rodent infestations.
On Wednesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced former elementary school teacher Kathleen Corradi as the the city’s first-ever rat czar, a newly formed position tasked with battling the rising rodent population. Days later, Boston City Council President Ed Flynn recommended the Massachusetts city hire someone in a similar position “”to hopefully one day eliminate rats in Boston,” the Boston Herald reported.
“I have followed the work they’re doing closely,” Flynn told the Herald, referring to New York City, on Saturday. “But I also know Boston has exceptional staff currently that are doing the job, and they’re doing the job well. We just need more resources and to prioritize the importance of working together to deal with this public health emergency in Boston.”
Boston residents aren’t happy with the increased presence of rodents since 2020, and some report seeing rats the size of “a small dog,” according to ABC-affiliate WCVB.
“The biggest one I’ve seen was probably 10 inches long,” one South Boston resident told the local outlet.
Others say the rat problem is costing them thousands of dollars to combat. Another South Boston man told the station that rats ate the transmission harness in his car, which cost him $3,000 to fix.
“I lost my car for two weeks for the craziest reason, and I still have to park my car in my driveway, so who the hell knows if it’ll happen again,” he said, per WCVB.
Fran Perler, a retired scientist living in the Boston metropolitan area, told local news in March that she’d spent $4,000 to install exclusion barriers to keep rats out as her neighborhood fights against infestation.
“My 89-year-old neighbor went to their first floor toilet and a rat had come up through the sewer,” Perler told Boston 25 News. “It’s all over Boston, Somerville, Cambridge, and Newton.”
Residents of Chicago have similarly haunting stories involving rodent issues. In 2022, Chicago was named the number one “rattiest” city in the US over both New York City and Boston. In October 2022, there had already been 41,000 rat complaints filed with the city that year, CBS News reported.
“They’re as big as my chihuahua,” Inez Melendez, a resident of Chicago’s West Town neighborhood told CBS. “They’re bigger than my chihuahua.”
“You can hear them screaming — ee, ee, ee, ee!” Melendez said. “Oh, it’s horrible.”
Another Chicago family was forced to abandon their home in February 2022, as rats invaded the house located in the west side of the city. Ashunda Harris captured videos of the pests in her kitchen, living room, and bedrooms before leaving the property.
“I’m packing my stuff. I can’t live like that, that’s not a living situation, rats carry a lot of germs,” Harris told Fox 32 Chicago. “They’re eating through my foundation now. It started with a demo project next door where they were nesting.”