Could Oreo Cookies Solve New York’s Rat Problem?

They are being used in new high-tech rat traps, which have been spotted around the city.

The New York Times – Casa La Femme, an upscale Egyptian restaurant in the West Village, has an elaborate outdoor dining shed with a trellised canopy, embroidered gold curtains, seats with fringed pillows and now, nearby, a high-tech rat trap.

Anastasios Hairatidis, one of Casa’s owners, had learned about the contraption — a mod-looking device about two feet tall, housed in a plain green metal box — from his business partner.

He then watched a video on the website of the company that leases them, Rat Trap Distribution, and ordered one immediately, installing it this past week.

“Usually we procrastinate,” he said. But considering the increase in rodent sightings around the city, he said, and the chatter about dining sheds making the matter worse, he decided to act fast. “It’s really for the community,” said Mr. Hairatidis, who is also a landlord nearby.

The Italian-made battery-operated device, which wouldn’t look out of place in the MoMA design store, is a new development in controlling New York’s four-legged foes.

“Peanut butter Oreos are the best.” – Jim Webster, Rat Trap Distribution 

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They’ve also caught the attention of Mayor-elect Eric Adams. In a radio interview this fall, he called the traps “amazing” and vowed to explore deploying them across the five boroughs once he is officially leading City Hall.

Besides its innovative design and noxious chemicals, the rat trap also has a secret weapon: Oreo cookies. “Peanut butter Oreos are the best,” said Jim Webster, Rat Trap Distribution’s director of operations, while installing the contraption outside of Casa La Femme.

The scent of the cookies, crumbled and placed in the top compartment of the two-part trap, along with sunflower seeds, acts as a lure.

For a week or so, rodents will be free to crawl through the device’s holes and snack as much as they want.

Once the rats become regulars and “get comfortable,” Mr. Webster said, the device will be turned on … read more [subscription may be required]. 

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