Borough president pushes for new trap program that intoxicates and drowns rats

Borough president pushes for new trap program that intoxicates and drowns rats
Photo by Colin Mixson

You won’t smell a rat!

Borough President Eric Adams showed off dozens of dead rats to media assembled outside Borough Hall on Thursday as a demonstration of new rat trapping technology, which can store rodent carcasses for months — without causing a stink!

“It drops them into the bottom and they’re contained in there, there’s no scent, there’s no smell, there’s no decaying, there’s no spread of bacteria,” said exterminator Anthony Giaquinto, who joined Adams for the macabre publicity stunt on Sept. 5.

The metal contraption, created by the pest control company Rat Trap, lures rodents with sunflower seeds and nuts, before dropping them into the box’s alcoholic solution, which intoxicates the rats, eventually knocking them out and drowning them, according to Giaquinto, who works for Rat Trap.

“It’s quick!” exclaimed Giaquinto.

Adams claims that the boozed-up rats drown after about three minutes, and demonstrated that the trap could hold more than a dozen dead rodents at a time.

Beyond giving the rats a tipsy farewell, the trap’s alcoholic solution prevents their carcasses from smelling, making the trap preferable for inclosed spaces, and attracting more beady-eyed pests, since rats don’t approach areas where they smell other dead rodents, Adams explained.

“Rats don’t go to a place where they smell dead rats. So when you use the rat candy that the city uses, once a rat dies, other rats won’t go there,” Adams said.

The borough president’s announcement comes after a surge of rat sightings in Brooklyn. According to a recent report, anywhere between 250,000 to millions of rats live in the city, and Brooklyn houses more rodents than any other borough. In 2018, Brooklynites logged more than 6,500 rat complaints to the city’s 311 complaint hotline, dwarfing runner-up Manhattan’s 4,300 complaints.

Sanitations officials have repeatedly tried to mitigate the infestation crisis, shelling out $5.3 million dollars for mint-scented garbage bags that supposedly deterred the vermin, and releasing a $32 million war on rats in 2017 — both of which failed to shrink the number of pests.

At the press conference, Adams assailed the city’s failed extermination efforts in claiming officials should adopt his new rat killing tech.

“Something is wrong when we continue to throw money away on something that isn’t successful,” Adams said, adding that the new devices only cost between $300 and $400 a piece, including maintenance.

And, while Adams noted that the city has no plans to continue installing Rat Traps, he hopes to use discretionary funds to expand the program around Borough Hall, speak to the health officials and city council members about implementing the devices, and launch two more pilot programs at a public housing development and in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

“Our goal here at Borough Hall is to really look at the problem and come up with solutions, and we believe we found just that,” he said.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radams@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306. Follow her on Twitter @rose_n_adams
Innovative device: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams demonstated Rat Trap’s new rodent-killing contraption on Thursday.
Photo by Colin Mixson