Mayor Eric Adams has picked a $170,000 rat tsar

The pest job ever!

Mayor Eric Adams said Thursday he selected a well-paid “rat tsar” from thousands of applicants – but would not say who “she” is.

The position, worth up to $170,000, goes to a person who is passionate about “hating rats” and wants to eradicate them while the city’s rodent population soars, Adams said at a news conference in the Bronx.

“We called for a rat tsar and got thousands of answers. We’ve narrowed it down to one person, which we’re about 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 need to get these rats and their population under control.’ So I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

“Rodents shouldn’t be in our homes, shouldn’t be running across our yards, shouldn’t be biting our children,” Adams added. “It’s a sanitary issue, a health issue, it’s also traumatizing.”

Hizzoner refused to name the Rat Tsarina or list her credentials.

He made the announcement at the city’s “Rat Academy” in the Bronx, which is offering a free three-hour training course to anyone who wants to learn how to “deal” with the filthy bugs.

Eric Adams
Eric Adams said the city has chosen a much-anticipated Rat Czar to help fight the infestation.
Dennis A Clark

The center also offers an intensive three-day training course for pest professionals, focusing on “Rat Biology, Behavior and Habitats” and “Involvement Factors.”

During a class on Thursday, a pest control director shared rat control tips with local construction managers and property managers via a PowerPoint presentation.

“The later you put out your rubbish, the closer to the sanitation pickup time, the less opportunity these rats have to infest the sacks,” Caroline Bragdon, the Department of Health’s director of neighborhood services and pest control, told the class of about 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 dumpsters and if it’s okay to use bleach to control rats on sidewalks.

Bragdon responded that the Department of Sanitation had good quality “rat-resistant cans” and that flushing the sidewalks with bleach helped eliminate rat urine, which attracts more rodents.

Rat Academy class
Pest Control officials shared rat control tips at the Bronx city’s Rat Academy.
Dennis A Clark

Bernice Smith, who works as a builder in the Bronx, said she got away with using smart rat-killing strategies.

“We’ve been trying to address the rat problem for a long time,” she said. “I’ve been thinking about putting a slab of rock in there to break it up [burrowing] Holes down but she said stomp them down and then put the pebbles on top.”

“That was very helpful,” she said.

On November 30, the Adams administration published a new job posting for a director of rodent migration, which requires a college degree, for a salary of $120,000 to $170,000.

Hizzoner – who notoriously abhors rats and never misses an opportunity to speak out about them – has said pandemic-induced al fresco dining may have exacerbated the city’s rat-infestation problem.

In recent months he has signed legislation and implemented policies aimed at eradicating the rodents.

A bill forces landlords to buy heavy-duty bug-proof garbage cans if they have two or more rodent complaints. And a new pilot program installed streetside storage bins in Times Square and Brooklyn Heights to cut off rats’ food sources.

Rat poking out of sewer
Last year, Adams introduced new laws and city updates in hopes of curbing the bug population.
Christopher Sadowski

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

“I’m not just the district president; I’m the Pied Piper!” Adams explained at the time.

But in February, Adams was fined $300 after rodents were discovered in his Brooklyn row home.

The Bedford-Stuyvesant property encouraged “rat nesting” in the recyclable storage area in front of the house, the city subpoena explained.

The fine prompted Guardian Angels founder Curtis Silwa to smack Adams – his former mayoral rival – and offer to personally intervene to end the ongoing rodent problem in Hizzoner’s building by releasing feral cats.

“You have to choose a person who doesn’t mind being surrounded by rats all the time. It’s not a day job, it’s a night job, they have to be out from 8am to 6am – they rule the night,” Silwa said Thursday in response to Adam’s Rat Czar announcement.

“You can start in his own building on Lafayette Avenue, which is infested with rats.” Mayor Eric Adams has picked a $170,000 rat tsar


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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