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Eric Adams has tapped NYC’s $170K ‘rat czar’ — and no, it’s not Curtis Sliwa

New York Post logo: MainLogo New York Post 3/23/2023 Khristina Narizhnaya, Bernadette Hogan, Natalie O'Neill

Pest job ever!

Mayor Eric Adams said Thursday he has picked a handsomely paid “rat czar” out of thousands of applicants — but wouldn’t say who “she” is.

The up-to-$170,000 position will go to a person who passionately “hates rats” and wants to wipe them out as the city’s rodent population soars, Adams said at a press conference in the Bronx.

“We put out a call for a rat czar and we got thousands of responders. We dwindled it down to one person that we’re getting ready to announce. The first thing I asked her was, ‘How do you feel about rats?’” Adams said.

“She was very clear. She said, ‘Listen we got to get those rats under control and their population.’ So I look forward to it,” he said.

© Provided by New York Post Eric Adams said the city has picked a much-anticipated rat czar to fight infestations.Dennis A. Clark

“Rodents should not be in our homes, should not be running across our yards, should not be biting our children,” Adams added. “It’s a sanitary problem, a health problem, it is also traumatizing.”

Hizzoner refused to say the name of the rat czar or list any of her credentials.

He made the announcement at the city’s “Rat Academy” in the Bronx, which offers a free three-hour training course to anyone who wants to learn how to “manage” the filthy vermin.

The center also offers an intensive three-day training course for pest professionals centering on the “biology, behavior and habitats of rats” and “contributing factors to infestation.”

During a class on Thursday, a pest control director taught rat-busting tips to local building superintendents and property managers via a Powerpoint presentation.

© Provided by New York Post Pest control officials offered rat fighting tips at the city’s Rat Academy in the Bronx.Dennis A. Clark

“The later you put your garbage out, the closet to that sanitation pickup time, the less opportunity those rats have to infest the bags,” Caroline Bragdon, Department of Health director of Neighborhood Intervention and Pest Control, told the class of roughly 80.

“It makes it better for our sanitation workers, makes it better for all of us. Shorten the opportunity for rats to feed.”

Students had questions about the best garbage containers and whether it’s alright to use bleach to fight rats on sidewalks.

Bragdon replied that the Department of Sanitation has quality “rat-resistant cans” and that rinsing sidewalks with bleach helps eliminate rat urine, which attracts more of the rodents.

Bernice Smith, who works as building super in the Bronx, said she walked away with smart rat-killing strategies.

“We’ve been trying to challenge the rat problem for a long time,” she said. “I was thinking of putting a rock sheet to break the [burrowing] holes down, but she said stomp them down, then put the pebbles on top.”

“It was very helpful,” she said.

On Nov. 30, the Adams  administration posted a new job listing for a so-called Director of Rodent Migration, which requires a college degree, for a salary of $120,000 to $170,000.

Hizzoner — who famously loathes rats and never misses a chance to vent about them — has said pandemic-fueled outdoor dining  may have worsened the city’s rat infestation problem.

In  recent months, he has signed legislation and implemented policies aimed at wiping out the rodents.

One bill forces landlords to buy vermin-proof heavy-duty garbage bins if they’ve racked up two or more rodent complaints.  And a new pilot program installed street-side storage bins in Times Square and Brooklyn Heights to cut off rats’ food sources.

As Brooklyn Borough president in 2019, Adams also floated a controversial plan to kill off the rats by drowning them in a vat of vinegar and alcohol.

“Not only am I the borough president; I’m the pied piper!” Adams declared at the time.

But in February Adams was hit with a $300 fine after rodents were discovered at the Brooklyn townhouse he owns.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant property encouraged “the nesting of rats” in the recyclable storage area in front of the home, the city summons declared.

The fine prompted Guardian Angels founder Curtis Silwa to bash Adams — his former mayoral rival — and to offer to personally step in to put an end to the ongoing rodent problem at Hizzoner’s building by releasing feral cats.

“You’ve got to pick a person who doesn’t mind being around rats all the time. It’s not a daytime job, it’s a nighttime job, they have to be out from 8 to 6am — they rule the night,” Silwa said Thursday in response to Adams’ rat czar announcement.

“They can start on his own building on Lafayette Avenue, which is infested with rats.”


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