New York City health officials are hoping a new program will freeze rat populations in their tracks.
The city Health Department said on Tuesday that it has been dropping dry ice in earthen rat burrows at J. Hood Wright Park in upper Manhattan as part of a pilot program to reduce rat sightings around the city.
According to the Daily News, which first reported the measure, the dry ice melts and releases carbon dioxide that suffocates the rats in their nests.
Health officials said that dry ice is safe to use in parks and other earthen burrow sites and doesn't pose a threat to other wildlife. It's also painless for the rats, they said.
The health department said that the program can't be expanded to nests in buildings or other concrete areas.