DOH: Rat count down in NYC thanks in part due to 'rat academies'

The Department of Health says that rat sightings are down in 2023, in part thanks to the rat academies it has held with New Yorkers.  
The DOH says it is holding around two rat academies per month. One of those academies in the Bronx Thursday had a full house, a special guest, and plenty of Bronx residents eager for less rats on their streets.  
The academy session was held with the effort of several community members in Longwood and groups such as Banana Kelly Improvement LLC.  
Mayor Eric Adams joined Bronx residents and DOH representatives at the academy, assuring those in attendance that the city is dedicated to ending the ongoing rat crisis.  
“The mere fact that you’re here in this packed space means, like me, you hate rats,” said Adams.  
The academy gives people a chance to ask questions about the city’s ongoing efforts to rid the streets of rats.  
Bronx residents were glad the department came, but some have taken matters into their own hands. Flor Sanchez says he got sick of seeing rats on his block, so he put out a big trap to catch one.  
“All you see is bags, bags, come on. The rats eat through those bags and they’re having fun,” said Sanchez.  
New waste setout times are coming on April 1, aiming to reduce how long trash is on the curb. City-owned buildings and agencies placing garbage on the curb will only be able to do it one hour before closing if the can has a lid, and only after 8 p.m. if it’s just the bags.  
The DOH says it will continue rat academies, as it has had a consistent turnout of around 30 people in each class so far.