New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) on Thursday appeared in court to demand that the city scrap his rodent infestation fine. Adams spent 30 minutes in an online proceeding, disputing the accusation that he did not take care of the rat problem at his Brooklyn property.

“We all don’t like rats, and we’re all cooperating together,” Adams said, countering the idea that he had willfully allowed rats to infest his property.

Adams contested the findings of an inspector who found rat droppings in front of the mayor’s garbage bins, and rat burrows along his fence. He appeared confused by the accusation and shifted the blame toward his neighbors on the other side of the fence.

Adams has received at least 18 summonses throughout his ownership of his Brooklyn home, typically related to the handling of his garbage. Historically, Adams has merely paid the fine and moved on.

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Before becoming mayor, Adams was known for his hatred of rats while serving as the Brooklyn Borough president.

He once demonstrated for reporters a new rat trap, where a vinegary toxic soup would supposedly lure in rats and kill them. The trap was ineffective.

In November, Adams introduced new rules regarding how long garbage can stay out, as well as created what he called “rat mitigation zones.” Furthermore, the mayor announced a search for a new “rat czar” who would be “highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty.”

Controlling New York City’s rat problem has been a goal of practically every New York City mayor. It is estimated that there are roughly two million rats among the city’s five boroughs, about 25 percent of New York City’s human population.

Adams’ predecessor, Bill de Blasio, had also attempted to counter New York City’s rat problem. De Blasio invested tens of millions of dollars towards more frequent trash pickup, increasingly thorough housing inspections and other potential solutions such as incentivizing the usage of concrete instead of dirt for basement floors.

The effectiveness of such policies is unclear.

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