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Do you need an Anti Rat Activist?

New York’s rats are notorious and frequent the news headlines. Rat stories range from pizza rat to giant rats in the subway. Somewhere in this ratty mix, a new name for Rat Tzar in New York has come up for inspiration and scrutiny. While you analyze New York’s decision, ask yourself, “Do You need an Anti Rat Activist?

What is an anti-rat activist?

Anti and Activist are terms that surely conjure up some sort of radical image. What is an anti-rat activist though? An anti rat activist is a person dedicated to reducing the number of rats that are tormenting an area. This is the anti part.

The activist part is the more important part. This indicates a proactive approach which is essential for rat or any rodent control. An activist cannot just focus on the rats. The Anti Rat Activist will have to address all contributing factors to the situation.

The softer term of Director of Rodent Mitigation is the more appropriate term, but both are useful.

Why have rats persisted?

If big hitters like Rudy Giuliani and Bill de Blasio put former Rat Tzars in place, why and how have rats persisted? Both rats and mice are very well adapted to living alongside humans. It is important to view the relationship as a co-evolution. Humans store and discard large quantities of food. Rats and mice take advantage of this. The structures that we build for protection from the elements also serve the rodents quite nicely. Most importantly, rats and mice are sneaky, hardy creatures, and reproduce incredibly quickly.

Is a school teacher the right choice?

With pest professionals, rodent scientists, and chemical manufacturers available on all sides, why would New York’s mayor choose a teacher to be the anti rat activist? It helps to break down what a teacher is to see the wisdom of the folly.

  • Education is key – with any pest battle, the first step has to be education.
    • Learning about the target provides a competitive edge
    • Teaching people how they can help starts a movement
    • Infusing connected organizations with the right knowledge unites the clans
  • Elementary kids are a rat training ground – teaching young children while dealing with sanitation issues, differing backgrounds, and a lack of prior understanding is a perfect training ground to come to a Director of Rodent Mitigation.
  • Hide and seek – From the playground version to trying to cheat on tests, to sneaking in treats, teachers have to become masters of this game. An Anti Rat activist must be a master of these skills.
  • Bloodthirsty – the ad for the position referenced a thirst for blood. Kathleen Corradi doesn’t see herself as blood thirsty, but hearing substitute teachers describe elementary experiences explains why the term would resonate.
  • Threads of commonality – a teacher has to combine the wants and needs of students, parents’ viewpoints, school board initiatives, state agencies, and everything in between. Corradi will need to expertly combine several conflicting viewpoints to reach the ultimate goal of rodent mitigation.
  • Creativity – this is at the heart of education. This must be at the heart of the Anti Rat Activist movement.

Fines and the big stick of citations and enforcement are tempting, but that can only function as a supportive measure of proper education when it comes to rodent control.

Creative Solutions Required

The simple equation for the Director of rodent mitigation is pretty simple:

  • Minimize access to food – (kudos to Corradi for already listing this as the primary initiative!)
  • Block access points
  • Reduce harborage

Putting together a plan that will entice tourists, consumers, business owners, residents, and city officials to voluntarily participate in fruitful efforts is going to be key. Just reducing the amount of time that the city streets will be lined with trash bags will not be enough. Corradi is going to have to get creative.

Lessons for locals

What about the small suburb in the middle of Minnesota’s Twin Cities? Do you need an anti-rat activist? For all the reasons explored above, the answer is yes! MN suburbs may not have brown rats roaming the streets, but mice are just as serious of a threat. They are after food and carry unwanted diseases. Education and food reduction are key, but having a professional be your Director of Rodent mitigation is the key to having things done right without you having to worry about it.