April 18, 2018

"De Blasio’s rat-killing demonstration is a complete disaster."

NY Post reports:
Like a scene from “Tom and Jerry,” workers fruitlessly tried to stomp on the agile rodent when it scurried from a hole in which dry ice had been dropped in an effort to control the furry pests. One worker even swung a shovel at the plucky rat in a comical whack-a-mole routine. But no one could lay a hand on the tiny animal, which dodged all the would-be rat-slayers at the Bushwick Houses and scampered to safety at a playground on Humboldt Street....
ADDED: I'm giving this the animal cruelty tag. The tone of the article is that it's just very funny, but bashing an animal with a shovel isn't a joke.

100 comments:

Achilles said...

They just didn’t want to kill one of their own.

buwaya said...

They didn't want to hire specialists.
My cat is available.

buwaya said...

Bashing vermin is not a joke, its a chore.
Distaste for the job goes hand in hand with misplaced sympathy with the creature.
It is good to get closer to the earth, to rectify ones scale of values.

Mao was not entirely wrong there.

Caldwell Titcomb IV said...

Dancing Bats

Inga said...

Once my little dog Teddy, had a chipmunk in his mouth and wanted to come in the house with it and I had to bash him with a broom in order for him to drop the chipmunk. I am sorry. My dog was mad at me for a week. I think the chipmunk laughed all the way back home to it’s hole.

Gahrie said...

They obviously should have used a lethal injection.

AllenS said...

The only good vermin, is a dead vermin. How you kill it, does not matter.

Nonapod said...

De Blasio is the type of mayor who as in the old fairy tales who would think that pied piper fellow was a stand up guy who'd handle the rat problem, then refuse to pay him.

FullMoon said...

Once my little dog Teddy, had a chipmunk in his mouth and wanted to come in the house with it and I had to bash him with a broom in order for him to drop the chipmunk.

Was at a friends house when her cat brought home somebodies hamster, still in the small cage.Guess somebody put hamster on their porch to give it some sun, or something.
Fuckin' cat was a worker, for sure.

mockturtle said...

"I'm giving this the animal cruelty tag. The tone of the article is that it's just very funny, but bashing an animal with a shovel isn't a joke."

Not to mention the severe psychological cruelty of chasing it with a shovel. [Eye roll]

Inga said...

De Blasio is the type of mayor who as in the old fairy tales who would think that pied piper fellow was a stand up guy who'd handle the rat problem, then refuse to pay him.”

Who is that other famous New Yorker who didn’t pay his lawyers and contractors?

Trumpit said...

I used to give my dog a vitamin pill by mouth every day. One day, he simply refused to let me shove it down his throat. I tried to hide the pill in some food, but it didn't work. I got into a wrestling match with my dog on my bed. He was old, but strong as hell, and he won every round of my brutal attempts to force him to swallow something. He was absolutely determined not to let me force him to do something he didn't want to do. He's since died, but I still feel guilty about what I did to him on that day. You should respect animals, and their wishes. Be kind to them.

rehajm said...

Betting on the rats over DeBlasio was easy money.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm giving this the animal cruelty tag. The tone of the article is that it's just very funny, but bashing an animal with a shovel isn't a joke.

It is not a joke. But it is also not animal cruelty, at least not if your intent is to kill, and you do so as quickly as you can.

rehajm said...

Buwaya’s cat doesn’t stand a chance against a nyc rat. Unless his cat originated from the African savannah.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"What was I supposed to do, capture it and rehabilitate it?" -- Woody Allen, Annie Hall

chuck said...

De Blasio should stick to killing groundhogs.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

We need less humans.

rhhardin said...

Snakes are the answer.

Darkisland said...

How would you kill a rat or other vermine, Ann?

Strychnine? Warfarin? Let the poor animal suffer and bleed internally for an hour or so?

Probably out of sight so you don't see it. I guess that makes the suffering ok then, right?

Or you could let it live but that runs the risk of bubonic plague at massive levels

Are you a vegetarian perchance? If not, you are killing cows, chickens, goats, sheep and whatnot by bopping them on the head then slitting their throat and bleeding them to death.

Or perhaps you eat suffocated fish or lobster that were boiled alive.

I have no problem with rat traps. My problem with shovels is the ineffectiveness as here or the danger of the rat running up the shovel and attacking the attacker.

Since you can't know the rat is not rabid, attacker is in for an unpleasant time.

AR15s work too,of course

John Henry

Darkisland said...

Didn't Seinfeld do a episode on this with a squirrel?

We've got no dea with rats either.

John Henry

tcrosse said...

There are dogs which are bred for this very purpose- terriers.

Tommy Duncan said...

"I'm giving this the animal cruelty tag. The tone of the article is that it's just very funny, but bashing an animal with a shovel isn't a joke."

It's a rat for goodness sake.

I grew up along a river. Rats were common. When you discover a rat in your house you look for any weapon that's handy.

I believe humans have a natural aversion to rats and snakes for good evolutionary reasons.

Democrats, however, struggle to kill their own.

Caldwell Titcomb IV said...

rehajm said...
Buwaya’s cat doesn’t stand a chance against a nyc rat. Unless his cat originated from the African savannah.


NYC rats are the same as the brown rats all over the world, namely not gigantic (< 2 pounds) or especially fearsome like the silly Brit fake-news pretends they are.

MadTownGuy said...

Using dry ice to flush out a rat? All that CO2 released into the atmosphere! Doesn't he give a rat's ass about the environment?

Caldwell Titcomb IV said...

Scientists Show How Big NYC Rats Can Get, And It’s Terrifying (!)
Someone is finally telling us how big the city rodents really are.
...
"Combs recently showed off the biggest catch to The Huffington Post — a 675-gram (nearly 1 1/2 pounds) monster."

IOW, not very big and not "terrifying" 'cept the germs, and they're even smaller than the rats.

richlb said...

What chuck said.

Birkel said...

I could not be brought to care any less about the way vermin dies, unless a human inflicts cruelty for the sake of inflicting cruelty. Even then I care not at all about the suffering of the vermin, but rather about the cruelty of the human.

One imagines the snake takes a similar view of the rodent. Ditto, the cat. Ditto, the dog. Ditto, other vermin. Ditto, microbes. Ad infinitum

Inga said...

“There are dogs which are bred for this very purpose- terriers.

My little dog Teddy was a Peek-a-Pom, half Pekinese, half Pomeranian and he was a killer. He killed an entire nest of baby rabbits, voles, mice, chipmunks. He left the birds alone, he wasn’t a cat afterall. Maybe I should’ve had him neutered, but I felt sorry for him. He was very loyal and affectionate to me only, but was a very naughty dog.

tcrosse said...

My little dog Teddy was a Peek-a-Pom, half Pekinese, half Pomeranian and he was a killer.

My Grandmother was a Pomeranian. She was born near Stralsund in the 1870's. As far as I know, the only thing she killed was chickens.

Donald Douglas said...

This is a pattern. De Blasio once "dropped" a groundhog, an animal that later died.

TWW said...

Rats recognize a rat when they see one.

Caligula said...

"they attempted to demonstrate a new high-tech extermination technique."

Dry Ice is now "high-tech"? If so, is there any tech that is not "high" tech?

If the dry ice works, it presumably does so by asphyxiation. Asphyxiation may look better than stomping or whacking (especially if it's out of sight), but is really more humane?

(Says one who once dispatched a pesky mouse with a copy of Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language).

Carter Wood said...

"There are dogs which are bred for this very purpose- terriers."

And the German "dachshund" translates as "badger dog" because that's what the dogs were bred to hunt.

From Der Spiegel, 2007, Is the Trusty Dachshund Dying Out?

I thought the rat chasing was humorous enough. The whole point of the exercise was to kill more rats, but the rat beat the humans. Grimm-like.

becauseIdbefired said...

Are you a vegetarian perchance?

A friend of mine went to an organic farm to shoot rabbits that were eating his friend's crops.

There isn't much way around the problem that your calories come at the expense of some animal's calories.

Karen of Texas said...

Rhhardin is correct. Snakes are the answer. In fact, there is a snake for just that purpose - the Western Rat Snake commonly referred to as the "texas rat" or "black rat snake". I shudder to think how big they would get if turned loose in the bowels of NYC - but man would they be able to feast...

Bay Area Guy said...

Don't you know the crime rate's going up, up, up, up, up (Shadoobie, shattered)
To live in this town, you must be tough, tough, tough, tough, tough, tough, tough (Shadoobie, shattered, shadoobie, shattered, shattered)

You got rats on the west side, bed bugs uptown (Shadoobie, shattered)
What a mess, this town's in tatters, I've been shattered (Shadoobie, shattered)
My brain's been battered, splattered all over Manhattan (Shadoobie, shattered)


-"Shattered," The Rolling Stones (1978)

Clark said...

I tried dry ice to eliminate a nest of yellowjackets (wasps) in the ground just outside our front door. The dry ice guys (not a retail operation--I think they sell in volume to beverage companies) thought I was nuts when I told them why I wanted to buy a 10-pound block. But, heh, it worked. Set dry ice on hole, cover with very large stainless steel bowl, weight down with a concrete block, wait a few days.

rehajm said...
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rehajm said...

How Dry Ice Kills Rats. Note how the Obama era EPA shut down the program. Too much CO2 I suppose.

traditionalguy said...

This is close to an insect politics tag. Other than honey bees, Insects are the enemy of man, but we cut them some slack because they are not as sneaky as a RAT.

rehajm said...

From the video :

...and remember Mayor De Blasio, do not attempt to kill escaping rats...

Wilbur said...

We had some rats in the attic of our house. I called this company who came out, and for a very inexpensive charge sealed up all of the holes through which they went in and out, and set traps for them. You know they're dead when you smell them.

Turned out they charge $75 a rat to come out and get out the dead ones. I'm not cheap, but I wasn't paying somebody to do what I can do. I ended up getting four of them over a week's time.

Ken B said...

Let's talk animal cruelty, because Althouse's use of the phrase suggests there are better alternatives. Some were mentioned above: cats, dogs, snakes. Which of these alternatives would Althouse find acceptable, if any? If we knew that snakes were preying upon the rats already would we be required to intervene to avert the cruelty?

The de Blasio tag is redundant.

RichardJohnson said...

NYC has been trying sterilization against rats. From 2017"NYC’s Newest Weapon Against the Rats? Sterilization.
In SenesTech’s first trial a few years ago, rat populations near subway stations went down by 43 percent. And, as Dyer points out, a contraceptive solution is more resilient against population rebounds than a poison-based one. Killing off a subset of rats will just open up more shelter and food for others. And with a single mating pair capable of producing 15,000 pups in one year (when you count all their progeny's progeny), it doesn’t take long for the population to make up lost ground. Not to mention the fact that poisons don’t get broken down by rats’ livers, meaning they stay in their bodies and get ingested by other animals that eat them, including dogs and cats. “This stuff never goes away,” says Dyer. “We can do better than killing.”

Wonder how that's going now.

mockturtle said...

Turned out they charge $75 a rat to come out and get out the dead ones.

LOL! If anyone actually pays that, I've some desert property to sell them.

mockturtle said...

“There are dogs which are bred for this very purpose- terriers."

Can we assume you favor using the slave labor of pets to do your dirty work? ;-)

Jamie said...

I had to kill a copperhead in my backyard today - my first one since moving to Texas. I HAD to kill it because my dog - a terrier mix - was going to go after it, terrier style, if I didn't. It took way too many shovel strikes; I felt terrible for the suffering I was inflicting. I was as fast as I could be, but the snake was hiding in a recently mulched flower bed and it was difficult to get a clean strike. Sigh.

Darkisland said...

Madtownguy,

The problem is that these people have been lied to and are too stupid and illiterate to realize it.

They think that they have to worry about a "carbon" footprint and don't even realize that it is carbon DIOXIDE that is the alleged problem.

So dry ice (frozen co2) is no problem. They may not even know that dry ice is co2.

Now if someone suggested that the rat be killed by throwing lumps of coal at it, there would be no end to the screams about carbon. Assuming they are not too dim to realize thay coal is carbon. Big assumption.

John Henry

Greg said...

'Mayor de Blasio and workers from the Housing Authority were outwitted by the rodent'

So not necessarily a particularly unusual or smart rodent.

Darkisland said...

Oh Caligula. Shame on your lack of imagination.

Sure asphyxiation could kill the rat.

But you could also drop a 20# block of it on the rat.

Or, you could wrap the rat in duct tape so it can't run off. Then put it in a bucket and pack dry ice chips around it. That would freeze it to death.

John Henry

JAORE said...

ADDED: I'm giving this the animal cruelty tag. The tone of the article is that it's just very funny, but bashing an animal with a shovel isn't a joke.

Until the rat is scurrying towards your child's crib....

The joke isn't bashing the animal. The joke is the Keystone Cops antics of the Mayor and his crack team.

I bashed a copperhead a foot from my dog last summer. Not a joke, I was serious as hell. FWIW, I let non-poisonous snakes in my yard go free.

The Drill SGT said...

How about a Garden hose. seal the holes you can find. run a hose in.

Chuck said...

Time and time again, I have read reports from exterminators who, throughout the centuries, have used terriers, that all of the poison/fire/gas techniques are useless in the end. And that the most efficient killer of rats, by far, are well-bred, well-trained terriers.

There are books on the subject and they are fascinating.

Try "Tales of a Rat Hunting Man" by D. Brian Plummer. It was my favorite book of the year, when it was first published. I fear it may be out of print, but you will find some copies by going through the Althouse portal to Amazon!

More than twenty years ago, in the New York Times, was this letter:

https://www.nytimes.com/1996/02/04/nyregion/l-a-few-good-rat-terriers-are-better-than-poison-022144.html


Quaestor said...

Who is that other famous New Yorker who didn’t pay his lawyers and contractors?

Bill Clinton?

Wilbur said...

mockturtle said...
Turned out they charge $75 a rat to come out and get out the dead ones.

LOL! If anyone actually pays that, I've some desert property to sell them.
________________________________________________________________________________
Believe me, very few customers did not pay for the removal service. The ick factor is off the chart.

mockturtle said...

Believe me, very few customers did not pay for the removal service. The ick factor is off the chart.

Maybe they would have trouble getting into their attic. Could be risky, depending on the attic.

Ralph L said...

Thanks for reminding me that there's a dead bird on my front walk.

I once killed a baby bunny with a shovel.
It was twitching after being run over by the lawn mower, but it might have just been scared.

Ann Althouse said...

"The joke isn't bashing the animal. The joke is the Keystone Cops antics of the Mayor and his crack team."

I am talking about this one sentence: "One worker even swung a shovel at the plucky rat in a comical whack-a-mole routine."

Rusty said...

No, Althouse. That's not animal cruelty.
Now making the rat dig its own grave and then hitting with a shovel. That's animal cruelty.
it's a rat, Althouse.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Try cleaning out a rat nest in your yard shed, right after reading an article about Hantavirus.
See how much you worry about how you kill rats found in or near your house.
I've done it with water, a door, and a brick, at various times. You just do it and clean up. No big deal.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Bleach helps.

ceowens said...

For those of us that do not particularly mind how rats die, the British fellows on their "permissions" with woefully underpowered air guns on YouTube are worth a shot, if you will.

Quaestor said...
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Quaestor said...
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Quaestor said...
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FullMoon said...

Time and time again, I have read reports from exterminators who, throughout the centuries, have used terriers, that all of the poison/fire/gas techniques are useless in the end. And that the most efficient killer of rats, by far, are well-bred, well-trained terriers.

You tube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDzf_TdHKfY

Quaestor said...

Once upon a time, I ran over a possum during a thunderstorm. I only had a glimpse of the marsupial when I felt and heard the thump-thump of the wheels on its body. I stopped the car and trotted back in the rain to view the damage. The critter wasn't dead. Its hindquarters were crushed, but the animal continued its vain struggle to cross the road, dragging itself forward by only the forelimbs. Horrible. I had no actual weapon to end the possum's existence, so I resolved to use the heaviest item at hand as a bludgeon — the tire iron from my trunk. Unfortunately, the tire-changing tools provided by Audi aren't very long or stout, so it took four or five whacks to cease its twitchings. Horrible. I was soaked to the skin and my clothes were spattered with blood and whatever an opossum has for brains (note to self: Must ask Inga about what can be inside a skull rather than brains.) When I got home my GF asked if I'd been in a fight.

(Sorry about the typos. iPads are very frustrating given the limited editing tools supplied by Blogger.)

Jupiter said...

Inga said...
"I think the chipmunk laughed all the way back home to it’s hole"

I think you mean its shithole, Igna. And why didn't you offer the chipmunk asylum in your bedroom? He clearly had a well-founded fear of persecution in his natural habitat.

JAORE said...

"The joke isn't bashing the animal. The joke is the Keystone Cops antics of the Mayor and his crack team."

I am talking about this one sentence: "One worker even swung a shovel at the plucky rat in a comical whack-a-mole routine."

Yeah, neither the mole nor the rat died..... hence the joke.

Inga said...

“Must ask Inga about what can be inside a skull rather than brains.)”

If you shine a flash light into your ear, you’ll probably find out what’s in your own skull.

Known Unknown said...

Once decapitated a baby rabbit with a shovel.

Had to.

Dog had gotten to it in the yard, and I had to finish the job.

Known Unknown said...

Is it Gang Up on Inga day?

Jeez. Give it a rest.

iowan2 said...

As one of the few posters here that has actually killed 100's of rats with a shovel, I fail to see the cruelty. The most common occurrence was the now, seemingly ritualistic practice of corn Shelling. Corn was harvested wet, on the cob and stored in cribs, with the siding about an inch apart, and the width of the crib about 7 feet. Allowing air to circulate and dry the grain naturally. Shelling would take place in the winter and required men inside with shovels to move the ear corn to the drags that moved the corn to the sheller. In this exercise, rats and mice were common, and the tool of choice happened to be the one in your hand, a shovel. Outside, roamed the farm dog. A terrier that would throw up several times before realizing he only had time to attack and kill the rats, and eating was getting in the way of killing. (which counters the lie that only humans kill for no reason at all)
Funny, not a single person in my world at the time would have considered our actions cruel by any measure.

William Chadwick said...

The article begins, "One wily rat . . ." Makes me imagine "Ratatouille Meets Spartacus." I can just hear Kirk Douglas telling Tony Curtis, "When one wily rat says 'No!' all Rome trembles."

Inga said...

“Is it Gang Up on Inga day?”

It just a typical day. LOL! I’d be shocked as shit if it weren’t.

exhelodrvr1 said...

How is that cruel?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Seal the holes (use smoke to identify where they are) and then connect a hose to a car exhaust and run it into one of the holes. That works reasonably well for gophers; never tried it with rats.

Big Mike said...

Althouse once posted about laughing when a squirrel got run over, but feels pity for a rat being attacked by a shovel. Oh, wait! She has a law degree. No wonder she’s sympathetic to the rat — professional courtesy and all.

Trumpit said...

"it's a rat, Althouse." I like rats, Rusty. They are more intelligent, and definitely better looking than most of the trolls on Althouse. God created rats to prove to Himself that he could build a better mouse. The mousetrap is a strictly human-conceived killing machine. When certain heartless humans dislike an animal they consider obtrusive and intrusive in some way, they label it "vermin" and endeavor to e-rat-icate them. It goes both ways. Trump considers brown and black-skinned people vermin from sh-thole countries, and those much-maligned people think Trump is yellowed grass clippings encircling the golf holes of his drought-inflicted, filthy-rich-infested country clubs. Need I point out that "rat" is "tar" spelled backwards, just like God is "doG" spelled backwards. Tar lines our streets while Trump lines his pockets.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Remember, not all rats are lawyers!

Jupiter said...

One time in Mexico I had to kill a rat. It was acting quite deranged, and I thought it might be rabid. I could have wished that shovel was a good deal longer.

FullMoon said...
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tcrosse said...

I shot a rat in Reno, just to watch him die.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Quaestor said...

Once upon a time, I ran over a possum during a thunderstorm...I had no actual weapon to end the possum's existence, so I resolved to use the heaviest item at hand...

Wasn't the heaviest item at hand the car?

mockturtle said...

I like rats, Rusty. They are more intelligent, and definitely better looking than most of the trolls on Althouse.

Glad you have found a group you feel comfortable with, Trumpit.

MarkHB said...

This isn't about killing rats in New York, but it is about killing gophers in Montana, so it is kind of linked...
My Mom has an older cat, blind in one eye, tiny little thing, a barn cat for its first several years, probably 15 or 16 years old. She grabbed a gopher right outside my Mom's house in Montana, dragged it through a tiny hole in the window screen into my brothers room, (much to his loud objection), across the bed and took it to my Mom in the kitchen. Guess we know who is the Alpha Cat in that househould...
So my Mom gets the cat dish and shakes it by the door to the rear deck. Cat hauls the gopher right out the back door. Had to check it with my Mom apparently. We should send Sadie to Manhattan...

Christy said...

I used tear gas once. Shrug. It was what I had at hand. I've a beagle who digs out voles.

wGraves said...

A pellet gun works fine.

Trumpit said...

I like rats, Rusty. They are more intelligent, and definitely better looking than most of the trolls on Althouse.

"Glad you have found a group you feel comfortable with, Trumpit."

I was wondering when you'd come out of your gopher hole, mockturtle. You are safe here. I can't say the same for other rodents who face destruction at the hands of man.

Tom_Ohio said...

I do not know if anyone posted this yet, but watch Mike Rowe as he watches this group make less rats a reality, its pretty awesome https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXTiYQzzbB8

n.n said...

Rats Lives Matter (RLM), so says the Pro-Life branch of the Pro-Choice Church.

Jim at said...

A pellet gun works fine.

Yep. CO2 cartridge with .177 pellet.

Rusty said...


"I like rats, Rusty. They are more intelligent, and definitely better looking than most of the trolls on Althouse."
How do you know wht I look like? Have you been watching me while I sleep?
You little pervert.

wildswan said...

This method works (When it does work) by releasing carbon dioxide so I don't know why the climatistas in NYC were using it.

Michael McNeil said...

Kill a rat with a bullet or pellet? Sounds tough. One would think that something like “snake shot” in a 22 would work better.

Quaestor said...

Inga wrote: If you shine a flash light into your ear, you’ll probably find out what’s in your own skull.

Personal experience?

Quaestor said...

Wasn't the heaviest item at hand the car?

Yes, but backing up was not a wise option given the particulars of the situation — midnight-ish, two-lane blacktop, deluge, etc.

I briefly consider clobbering the varmint with the car (an overhand swing seemed optimal) but my trick knee protested.

Rusty said...

Whatta ya gonna do? Take the rat to Disneyworld?

Lipperman said...
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