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(10.53 MB) Download Exploring New York's Rattiest Park with a Rodentologist

  September 23, 2015  ~    10.53 MB
Exploring New York's Rattiest Park with a Rodentologist

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Since the first European colonists set foot in Manhattan in the 1600s, New York City has been losing the war on rats. A recent estimate put the number of rats at around 2 million, about a quarter of the city’s human population, and any efforts to prune that population down have seen limited success.

Rats continue to infest basements, parks, and apartment buildings, chewing through car wiring and the city’s underground communications, and although reports of rats starting a new plague epidemic may be exaggerated, they do undermine quality of life and cause a lot of costly damage.

But now, an aggressive commitment to rounding up these highly unpopular rodents is finally showing real results thanks to a new strategy dedicated to getting inside the rats’ heads—finding their burrows and targeting them in their nests.

In this episode of Transmissions, Motherboard meets up with Matthew Frye, an urban entomologist at Cornell University’s integrated pest management program.

He’s going to show us how we can use learn from animal behavior to hunt rats.

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