Join GISMO on Monday, May 1, 2023, via Zoom from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET, for their Rat App launch!

Join GISMO on Monday, May 1, 2023, via Zoom from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET when they launch their Rat App. This mobile device app will allow everyday New Yorkers to participate in civic engagement by reporting rat sightings. When you spot-a-rat, report-a-rat. Let’s map those rat sightings together!

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Every year on April 4th, World Rat Day celebrates this intelligent rodent. It’s also a day to promote the idea of keeping rats as pets. World Rat Day was founded in 2002 by a group of pet rat enthusiasts who wanted to challenge the stigma surrounding these intelligent creatures and shed light on these animals and promote their care and welfare.

Do you have a pet rat? Or do you shiver at the mere thought of a rat? Rats have been around for over 50 million years, and it may surprise you to learn that they haven’t always had a bad reputation. Rats are small to medium-sized rodents that are found all over the world. There are several species of rats, but the most common are the brown rat and the black rat. Rats are known for their sharp teeth, long tails, and pointed snouts. They are social animals that live in groups, known as colonies or mischief, and are known for their intelligence and adaptability. Rats are very curious, social, full of personality, and are easy to care for.

Rats are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter, and they have a very keen sense of smell, which they use to locate food. Rats are known to be pests for residents, property owners, businesses and entire neighborhoods because their gnawing and burrowing can damage property, spread disease, contaminate food, and reduce our quality of life. However, they also play an important role in ecosystems, as they help to control the population of other animals and insects.

In some cultures, rats are considered sacred or are revered as symbols of good luck or prosperity. In others, they are seen as dirty or evil. Despite their reputation, rats are fascinating creatures that have been studied extensively by scientists and have played important roles in history and mythology.

According to data posted by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, city inspectors documented twice as much rodent activity in 2022 than in 2021. In November 2022, NYC Mayor Adams’ Administration pointed to its “Get Stuff Clean” initiative, a plan which includes more than $14 million to hire 200 new sanitation workers and conduct “hot spot cleaning” and rat mitigation within city parks.