The one animal we can’t seem to live without, even when we really, really want to.

  • Prologue: At this spring’s announcement of New York City’s inaugural rat czar, we meet Darneice Foster, who despises the rats outside her apartment. And host Ira Glass introduces two special co-hosts for today’s show. (11 minutes)
  • Act One: Producer Elna Baker meets Todd Sklar, a man who can’t quit rats. (22 minutes)
  • Act Two: Fifty years ago, New York City started to put garbage out in plastic bags. This has become the number one food source for rats. Producer Ike Sriskandarajah investigates the decision that led to the city’s rat baby boom. (10 minutes)
  • Act Three: How did Alberta, Canada pull off a feat that has eluded the rest of human civilization? Ira visits the largest rat-less land in the world. (15 minutes)
  • Act Four: We drop a hot mic into a hot mess of a rats’ nest. You’ll never believe what happens next. (3 minutes)

Transcripts are available at