NYC is looking for a rat czar. And it pays a lot


Hate rats?

Are you a “somewhat bloodthirsty” New Yorker with excellent communication skills and “a general aura of badassery”?

Then you might have what it takes to be the city’s new rat czar.

Mayor Eric Adams’ administration posted a job listing this week seeking someone to lead the city’s long-running battle against rats. The official job title is “director of rodent mitigation,” although it was promptly dubbed the rat czar. Salary range is $120,000 to $170,000 US.

“The ideal candidate is highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty, determined to look at all solutions from various angles, including improving operational efficiency, data collection, technology innovation, trash management, and wholesale slaughter,” reads that ad.

The posting is whimsical, but the job is daunting.

New York City leaders have been trying to control the rodent population for generations, with mixed results. Sightings of rats in parks, sidewalks and other places in the city have recently increased.

Several years ago, a video of a rat trying to drag a piece of pizza down the stairs of the New York City subway went viral.

‘Rats will hate this’

City rats have survived a multimillion-dollar effort under former mayor Bill de Blasio that focused on more trash pickups and better housing inspections in targeted neighbourhoods. The city also launched a program to use dry ice to suffocate rats in their hiding spots.

Adams, when he was borough president of Brooklyn, once demonstrated a trap that used a bucket filled with a toxic soup to drown rats lured by the scent of food.

Now, his administration is looking for a top rat bureaucrat to become the public face of the city’s eradication and education efforts.

“Rats will hate this job posting,” the ad states. “But 8.8 million New Yorkers and your city government stand ready to work with you to reduce the rat population, increase cleanliness, and prevent pestilence.”

Applicants are expected to have a crafty sense of humour and “to lead from the front, using hands-on techniques to exterminate rodents with authority and efficiency.”

Close-up of a small grey rat.
A rat leaves its burrow at a park in New York City. The city’s rat population has so far managed to survive a multimillion-dollar effort to decrease their numbers. (Mary Altaffer/The Associated Press)

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