New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced last week that Kathleen Corradi has been appointed the city’s first-ever "rat czar" to help to combat a growing rodent population. “There’s a new sheriff in town,” said Corradi, a former teacher who previously oversaw rat mitigation efforts in the city’s public schools. The size of the city’s rat population is unknown. A 2014 study put the figure at around 2 million, or one for every four residents. Rats first came to the Americas as stowaways on ships from Europe.
Class discussion: Rats and mice have been around much longer than humans, but they quickly adapted to scavenging food from us. Is there really any way to get rid of one of mankind’s longest unwelcome companions? How can we control numbers of these disease-spreading pests living near us? What are the best ways to control rats and mice? Traps? Poison? Cats and dogs? Locking up garbage? Has your family ever had to deal with rodent problems? Do you think the “rat czar” can defeat the raging rat gangs of New York?