NEW YORK (PIX11) – New York City is ramping up its war on rats by requiring all businesses to use trash cans with lids by March 2024.

The move comes after the city required all food establishments to use a trash bin with a lid in July. Officials then expanded the rule in September by requiring all businesses with five or more locations in the five boroughs to use a garbage can with a secure lid instead of garbage bags.

Rat sightings are down 20% this summer compared to last year and down 45% in the city’s rat mitigation zone, officials said.

“We’ve declared that rats are Public Enemy Number One — but we’re not stopping there; we’re also going after the black trash bags that litter our streets, aiding and abetting rodents,” said Adams in a statement.

The DSNY issued over 22,000 warnings to food businesses that were not in compliance following a one-month grace period that started July 30.

Businesses will be able to choose what kind of trash containers they use as long as they have a lid and secure sides to keep out rats.