RAT PATROL: NEW YORK

We’re taking you on the hunt to eradicate New York City’s vermin problem.

Aired on August 20, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> RATS.

YOU SEE THEM ON THE SUBWAY, YOU SEE THEM ON THE STREETS, THEY EVEN INVADE OUR PLAYGROUNDS.

RATS HAVE BEEN THE FABRIC OF CITY LIVING MORE THAN 100 YEARS.

THEIR NUMBERS APPEAR TO HAVE SWELLED.

LAST COUNT AND ARMY OF 2 MILLION STRONG.

NEW YORK CITY DEFINITELY HAS A RAT PROBLEM AND NOW THE MAYOR IS POURING IN MILLION FOSSETT A TRAP.

EARLIER THIS YEAR HE ANNOUNCED A $32 MILLION PROGRAM TO RID THE CITY OF THE PESTS DECLARING A NEW CHAPTER ON EXTERMINATING RATS.

YOU CAN'T JUST EXTERMINATE YOUR WAY OUT OF THE PROBLEM.

YOU HAVE TO GO DEEPER AND WHY WE'RE GOING AT THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM, WHERE THE RATS LIVE AND WHERE THEIR FOOD COMES FROM.

YOU HAVE TO GO TO ALL THREE REALITIES, FOOD, WHERE THEY LIVE AND EXTERMINATE ON TOP OF THAT.

THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL SEE US TOO MORE AND MORE FROM THIS POINT ON.

PART OF THE PROBLEM IS RAT PROOF GARBAGE CONTAINERS AND SUFFOCATING THEM WITH ICE IN THEIR BOROUGHS.

THIS SHOWS HOW BAD IT IS.

THIS SHOWS A RAT WREAKING HAVOC ON A TRAIN.

[ SCREAMING ].

THE MAYOR AND PROBABLY ALL OF NEW YORK CITY WANTS THESE UNWELCOME VERMIM TO BE A LESS VISIBLE PART OF OUR LIVES.

LIVING IN THE BUSHWICK HOUSES IN BROOKLYN, THEY DEMONSTRATED THE TECHNIQUE.

IT'S HARD TO SEE THEM DURING THE DAY.

AT NIGHT, THEY'RE OUTSIDE AND IT'S LIKE THEY'RE HAVING SO MUCH FUN.

IT'S SCARY, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE THEY'RE IN FRONT OF WHERE WE'RE SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO BRING OUR CHILDREN TO PLAY.

THE KIDS DON'T WANT TO PLAY THERE.

WHILE THE CITY HAS THEIR METHODS, THERE'S A GROUP OF NEW YORKERS WHO HAS THEIRS AS WELL.

I SPENT THE DAY AND EVENING WITH R.A.T.S., WHICH STANDS FOR THE RALLY -- TREAD SOCIETY, USING SPECIAL BRED DOGS TO FIGHT RATS.

THAT'S RIGHT.

RAT HUNTERS.

I'M AT THE EAST VILLAGE, A STICKY WET MUGGY DAY.

THAT IS NOT STOPPING THE RAT HUNTERS FROM COMING HERE AND TRYING TO SMOKE OUT SOME OF THE RATS.

WHILE LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY, ONE THING PEOPLE REALIZE RIGHT AWAY, THERE ARE A LOT OF RATS HERE.

IT BECOME AS WAY OF LIFE.

THESE RAT HUNTERS HERE ARE TRYING TO DO A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT.

THE RATS HERE AND EAT ON THE STREET.

YEAH.

SO THE PROBLEM IS THAT YOU CAN'T GET THEM OUT OF HERE WITH A DOG THE WAY WE DO ON THE STREET.

EVERY TIME WE FILL UP ON THE STREET THEY COME RUNNING IN HERE AND WE CAN'T GET THEM OUT.

THIS IS ONE WAY THAT WE CAN TRY TO REDUCE A FEW RATS EFFECTIVELY.

WITH THE SMOKER WE GAS THE HOLES, THE RATS EITHER RUN OUT OR THEY DON'T.

IF THEY RUN OUT, THE DOGS HOPEFULLY GET THEM.

IF THEY DON'T, THE SMOKE GETS THEM.

REYNOLDS IS THE LEADER OF THIS UNIQUE PACK OF RAT HUNTERS.

MARCUS AND O'TOOLE ARE BELGTON TERRIERS.

HE IMMEDIATELY GOES FOR A RAT BARRIER.

THIS IS ONE OF THE HOLES HERE.

THE TEAM WAS AT IT FOR HOURS FILLING THE BOROUGHS WITH SMOKE AND KILLING A FEW IF THEY RUN OUT.

AT FIRST A FEW CLOSE CALLS BUT ALL MISSES.

I SAW IT RUN FROM THAT HOLE OVER THAT WAY.

YOU BLEW IT!

THIS IS A KIND OF HIT AND MISS THING.

YOU WILL NEVER KNOW HOW MANY RATS YOU DISPATCHED DOWN HERE TODAY BECAUSE THEY DON'T COME OUT.

IF WE FILL A BOROUGH WITH NOXIOUS FUMES AND WE RUN IT IN THERE FOR FIVE MINUTES, WHATEVER IS IN THERE IS DEAD.

IT WILL NEVER COME OUT.

DESPITE THE FACT THAT WE'VE SEEN TWO COME OUT TODAY THROUGH THE GAS, IF WE GET NONE, THEN IT'S STILL A SUCCESS BECAUSE WE'VE CUT DOWN THE RAT POPULATION.

AFTER THE CLOSE CALLS I DECIDED TO PACK UP AND GO AND MEET WITH THE TEAM LATER IN THE EVENING.

THAT'S WHEN THEY FINALLY CAUGHT ONE.

IT ALL WENT DOWN SO QUICKLY WE ONLY HAD TIME TO SHOOT IT ON MY CELL PHONE.

THERE IT IS RIGHT THERE!

LEAVE IT.

THEY MANAGED TO CAPTURE TWO RATS IN THAT HUNTED.

THE DAY WAS STILL YOUNG.

A FEW HOURS LATER I MET UP WITH THE TEAM IN THE BAR UKE HOUSES AND MAKES THE PERFECT HUNTING GROUND.

TYPICALLY HAS A HALF-DOZEN OR SO HUNTERS WITH HIM BUT THE RAIN KEPT MANY AWAY.

THEY GET STARTED IMMEDIATELY.

RATS LOVE THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY.

WITH A TRAINED NOSE TO LEADING THE WAY, FINDING THE SCENT.

BUT IT PROVES TO BE A BIT SLIPPERY.

LIKE EARLIER IN THIS DAY, IT FAKES PATIENCE AND LUCK.

FINALLY, THEY CATCH ONE.

OH!

THEN TWO, THEN THREE, ABOUT A DOZEN.

THE DOG OWNERS SAY THE DOGS ARE IN A DANGER FOR DISEASE FROM RATS BUT GET A GOOD WASHING BEFORE THEY COME INSIDE THE HOUSE.

HE SAYS THE DOGS ARE BETTER OFF WITH A PURPOSE.

THEY'RE BETTER IN THE HOUSE DUE TO IT.

THEY'RE FULFILLED PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND PHYSICALLY.

THESE DOGS ARE BRED TO WORK, WORKING ANIMALS.

A DOG IN A PET HOUSE ALL DAY LONG SUFFERS, MAN, SUFFERS.

EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE HAVE THE BEST INTENTIONS, THEY'RE THINKING LIKE HUMANS AND NOT LIKE DOGS.

DOGS ARE MEANT TO HAVE A PURPOSE.

NOT EVERYBODY HAS TO HUNT OR KILL VERMIN, ANYTHING LIKE THAT, THE DOG NEEDS A PURPOSE, I DON'T CARE WHAT BREED.

A WORKING BREED TO ME IS THE ONLY DOG TO OWN.

RICHARD HAS BEEN AT THIS OVER 30 YEARS AND SAYS THE OVERALL IMPACT IS PROBABLY NEGLIGIBLE AND HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HELP RESEARCHERS, BLOOD TAKEN FROM THE RATS AND HUNTED AND HOPING TO REMOVE THEM FROM THE POPULATION ESTIMATED AT 2 MILLION.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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