New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently vowed to reduce the number of rats in the city by 70 percent. Part of his NYC rat control effort involves a newly approved process that uses dry ice to kill rats while they’re in their burrows. The Environmental Protection Agency recently approved this method and it showed promise in tests done last year in a few areas of the city. A test treatment in Chinatown park killed 1,200 rats and reduced the number of rat burrows from 60 down to two.
The dry ice method
Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. As it melts, it releases carbon dioxide gas rather than liquid. When dry ice is packed into rat burrows, the vermin suffocate on the CO2. The New York Times reported that dry ice was used as a NYC rat control method years ago. The city stopped using it because it was not classified as a pesticide. Officials requested permission from the state to continue using the rat extermination method and worked to fast track federal approval. The E.P.A. recently registered a dry ice product marketed by Bell Laboratories as Rat Ice and approved it for use as a pesticide.
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