New York City officials have been squaring off with vermin populations for a long time. It's a grand, epic and ongoing battle. But according to a new report from the city's health department, the tide is finally turning thanks to the power of ... information!
Yes, that's right -- it's rats versus databases in Gotham these days, and the databases are winning. Rat sightings are down 80 to 90 percent across the city, following the implementation of a new strategy initiated by Mayor Bill de Blasio last year.
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The so-called Rat Indexing program tracks vermin populations at the source, sussing out massive underground "rat reservoirs" by looking for particular patterns in rat sightings. The numbers are fed into database programs to help determine when and where to to place traps. The city has also hired a new platoon of exterminators and sanitarians -- a sort of special ops squad dedicated solely to rat catching.
According to this interesting report at Motherboard, that's just the beginning of the high tech offensive. Public health researchers recently concluded a study in which they tracked rats moving through and underneath the city -- by way of implanted RFID chips.