A Rat Hunter Takes Bushwick

Text and Photos by Colin Schappi
For full experience please go to the New York Magazine website.

Armed with his two companions and a smoke machine to chase rodents from their burrows, Schewel is a rat hunter, a trade associated more with the 19th century than the 21st. His company, Rat Hunt NYC, provides a valuable service at a time when a “war on rats” has become a top priority for Mayor Adams, who has tweaked garbage collection to facilitate his anti-vermin campaign. Unlike competitors that use poisons and traps, Rat Hunt NYC offers a nuanced approach to pest management by reintroducing predators to the urban ecosystem, starting at $75 an hour for residential clients after an initial $100 consultation. “If you have a rat problem on your property, burrow harassment is the best thing you can do,” Schewel explains.