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  • Chelle Hartzer

Aw Rats! (AKA: Not enough money)

I haven’t written about rats lately and it’s been all over the news that New York City is trying to hire a “Rat Czar” to help take care of its ridiculous rodent infestation. Personally, I think every large city, maybe even every county should have a state pest control officer to help reduce urban pest populations. So let’s dive right into it!


I really want to know who wrote this posting because they have a great sense of humor. If you go to the actual job announcement, this is an excerpt:

Do you have what it takes to do the impossible? A virulent vehemence for vermin? A background in urban planning, project management, or government? And most importantly, the drive, determination and killer instinct needed to fight the real enemy – New York City’s relentless rat population?

Right off the bat, they are saying the job will be impossible and you are set up for failure the minute you walk in the door. Not a great start. Concerning the “virulent vehemence for vermin” (awesome use of alliteration!), that should include everyone and my mom. However the “killer instinct” does narrow down that pool somewhat. As for the “real enemy”, some might argue it isn’t the rats, it’s the people causing the problems that are causing the rat issues. I’d rather work with rats than people most days.


Next up:

The ideal candidate is highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty, determined to look at all solutions from various angles, including improving operational efficiency, data collection, technology innovation, trash management, and wholesale slaughter.

I’m all about motivation, but they apparently want someone who is “somewhat” bloodthirsty. Anyone who is considering this position needs to be ruthlessly bloodthirsty. I do highly approve of being okay with “wholesale slaughter”. NYC is infamous for its rats and while an accurate population count can’t be easily determined, whoever takes this position is going to have to employ every single rodent management tool known to us at this time, and think up some additional creative options. Then again, since they were already set up for failure, this may not be a big issue.

Rats will hate this job posting. But 8.8 million New Yorkers and your city government stand ready to work with you to reduce the rat population, increase cleanliness, and prevent pestilence.

HA!!! Nothing against New Yorkers, but 8.8 million people are “ready” to work with you? That’s a great joke! There are just too many people in too small of an area, constantly producing food waste, water, and great habitat. I don’t want to blame the people too much; there is not enough money to enact the changes that truly need to be implemented to manage the rodents on the island effectively. I’ve got great ideas about reducing sanitation, dealing with exclusion, managing underground areas, and more. With a few billion dollars, I might be able to make a dent.


This is actually a pretty cool position in my opinion Then again, I like removing rodents and I like challenges! Here’s why I will not be applying.

  • It requires you to live in NYC. I think NYC is amazing and it’s great to visit. I don’t want to live there, especially for the money they are offering.

  • Demonstrated experience in policy …and government. I don’t want anything to do with the politics this position is going to entail.

  • NY city or state government work experience. Nope, I don’t have that.

  • There is NO expectation of having pest control skills, experience, or even knowledge. That tells me this is a good position for a politician used to dealing with other politicians. If it sounds like I’m bashing this position, I’m not. You have to start somewhere and the fact that NYC created and is (at least partially) funding it means they have interest in impacting the problem. Working across departments is a great way to find new ideas, fix problems, and generally get people to listen to each other and work together.

They do state the ideal candidate should have a “swashbuckling attitude, crafty humor, and general aura of badassery” – not sure how a great sense of humor is going to decrease the rodent population but I am totally adding “general aura of badassery” to my resume and my linked in page. If you want help with your rodent problems you don’t have to hire someone full time for a few hundred thousand dollars, I can be your rodent czar on the scale you need it. Contact us here to see how we can help.



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