New York has always been a top travel destination for people worldwide. Whether you’re an international tourist or a U.S. citizen, you might be surprised to discover that the city has some rather unconventional attractions. Among these attractions is the peculiar allure of rat-catching, an experience that some tourists are finding oddly captivating.
For years, the city has grappled with the omnipresent issue of rat sightings, with these critters seemingly lurking around every corner. In response to this growing problem, the city’s mayor recently announced the implementation of measures to curb the rat population.
The burgeoning popularity of rat tourism is evident in the actions of New York resident Kenny Bollwerk. While not a professional tour guide, Bollwerk inadvertently became one when he started documenting rats in various locations around the city, particularly near a construction site in Queens. His TikTok video showcasing New York’s rat problem garnered over 10,000 views and captured the attention of both locals and tourists.
Bollwerk’s involvement didn’t stop at making videos; he also contacted the city’s pest control services to help address the issue. Originally from Missouri, Bollwerk moved to New York in 2019 with the aim of cultivating an audience of “rat enthusiasts” eager to learn more about these creatures. He ventured to different locations and filmed rats three to five times a week.
Before long, tourists began flocking to Bollwerk, turning his rat-spotting tours into a popular pastime. What started as a quirky hobby has evolved into a unique civic and social experience, drawing large numbers of people eager to gain insight into the city’s ongoing rat predicament.
New York City has been waging a battle against its rat infestation, and after months of waiting, the mayor appointed Kathleen Corradi to lead efforts to combat the rat menace. Signs of progress began to emerge, with a 15% reduction in rat sightings reported in June compared to the previous year.
The city has taken proactive steps to address the issue, establishing rat mitigation zones equipped with specialized detection tools to locate and eliminate rodents. Additionally, businesses contributing to the rat population now face fines, and residents are encouraged to dispose of food waste responsibly, rather than leaving it on the streets.
While Bollwerk has become a prominent figure in New York’s anti-rat infestation movement, it’s amusing to note that even he gets startled when a rat unexpectedly charges toward him.