Is a ‘rat czar’ needed in Boston? One city councilor certainly thinks so

BOSTON — Should Boston have a rat czar? City Council President Ed Flynn thinks so.

The Boston City Council on Wednesday will hear Flynn’s proposal to create the new position.

So far this year, there have been about 1,700 rat complaints to the city’s 311 hotline. They’ve been piling up from neighborhoods all over, and now, councilors looking to create a designated position to mitigate the growing public health issue.

Flynn says pest control has become a top constituent complaint across the city. Since the pandemic, complaints have grown from 4,383 calls in 2021 to 5,095 in 2022.

Public works and inspectional services need additional resources to tackle the growing problem, according to Flynn. He wants to create an Office of Pest Control.

Flynn is closely following what New York City did, recently hiring a pest control officer at $155,000 a year to cut off food sources and develop new technologies to exterminate the rat population.

Flynn has not said how much Boston’s rat czar would earn, but some of the other responsibilities would include educational outreach and working with other city departments to address the rat problem.

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