Denise Chen - Sep 13, 2023
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Tour guides in New York showcase an unusual business model - turning rats, once considered a symbol of plague and filth, into an attraction. The people responsible for their removal can determine the extent of a city's rat infestation. New York, for instance, has a Rat Control Director who used to be a teacher. However, despite their efforts, these rodents continue to scuttle around New Yorkers' feet, seemingly unimpressed by measures taken to control their population.

One unsettling fact is that the city is estimated to be home to around two million rats like the one mentioned earlier.

Horror, when presented in a well-balanced manner, has always been a source of fascination for people. On social media platforms like Instagram, you can find many videos of people sleeping in public spaces. A rodent crawls up their legs and scurries over their bodies. Such footage reveals that humans tend to film such incidents instead of rescuing the person in need. This indicates that humans can be as inhumane as rats. With the rat population in New York City skyrocketing, tourists are now interested in checking out the city's most beady-eyed natives. Tour guides have started to tailor their excursions to introduce visitors to the exploding rat population. The pandemic has benefitted the rat population as they have ample shelter and food in dining sheds.

A recent report in The New Yorker states that tourist guides in New York City are capitalizing on people's fascination with rats by offering rat-focused tours. These rat tours take visitors to various locations to observe rodents up close. The popularity of these tours has led to hundreds of thousands of rat-watching videos online. The most popular late-night rat-watching routes are near Rockefeller Center, Flushing, and Sunnyside in Queens.

Well, maybe it's not as glamorous as the Disneyland setting they set up for Ratatouille, the film about the cooking rat from Paris. But some attention can also be fine for a New York rat living on leftover pizza.

Rat on top of New York City bar

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