Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams showed off the contraptions Thursday and grossed out reporters in the process with a foul-smelling showcase of about 20 dead rats, notes the New York Times, which writes Adams "gleefully displayed a plastic bin containing blobs of rat floating around in a mouse-gray stew."
The devices are called Ekomille traps, per Fast Company. (See a non-graphic video here.) It's essentially a box about 18 inches high that lures rats with bait such as sunflower seeds and nuts. Once atop the box, a trap door sends the rat into a solution of alcohol and vinegar in which the rodent drowns.
New York company Rat Trap says the battery-operated traps are humane because the solution knocks out the rats quickly. Each one can hold about 30 or 40 rats.
"We're dealing with crisis," Adams told reporters. "I would be irresponsible to allow my personal feelings about being a vegan to get in the way of the trauma of our families and what they're experiencing."
The city has a hotline for people to report rats, and the number of calls this year (more than 17,000) has risen nearly 40% from 2014 (more than 12,000), per the Times. One snag with the new method: One of the Brooklyn rats caught over the summer in a test of the method was so big it broke the box's spring mechanism.
Adams hopes to get the traps installed throughout Brooklyn and get the rest of the city on board if they do the trick in his borough. (In Germany, the rescue of a fat rat was cheered.)