(Bloomberg) -- Listen to The Big Take on iHeart, Apple Podcasts and Terminal.  

The number of rat-related complaints in American cities has spiked in recent years. In the most overrun cities such as Chicago, Washington, DC and New York, officials are stepping up efforts to find and kill them.

In New York, Mayor Eric Adams has become known as a mayor who really hates rats. (He says so himself on Twitter.) He touted his anti-rat policies in his state of the city address last month and went as far as posting a job for a rat czar to stamp them out. In Washington, you can even take  rodent control classes. 

But rats are — well rats — and they are very hard to get rid of. Cities have tried and failed for decades. So what can be done to contain the population of these rapidly reproducing rodents?

The good news: we can bring rats under control. The bad news: human nature means we probably won’t.

On this episode, Big Take podcast producers Kathryn Fink, Rebecca Chaisson and Sam Gebauer hit the streets with a rat control squad in Washington and rodentologist Dr. Bobby Corrigan in New York. We also speak with New York Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch.

This podcast is produced by the Big Take Podcast team: Supervising Producer: Vicki Vergolina, Senior Producer: Kathryn Fink, Producers: Mo Barrow, Rebecca Chaisson, Michael Falero and Federica Romaniello, Associate Producers: Sam Gebauer and Zaynab Siddiqui. Sound Design/Engineers: Raphael Amsili and Gilda Garcia.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.