- The pandemic shutdown is causing rats to go extremely hungry as garbage bins from restaurants, public parks, and other establishments have often been left empty.
- Due to the scarce source of waste, rodents that thrive in major United States cities are starting to be more aggressive in hunting for food.
- CDC warned the public over reports of “unusual or aggressive rodent behavior” and called on the people to seal any possible access to their homes or business establishments.
Since the global pandemic shutdown occurred, humans are not the only ones affected by emergency measures but even the rats. In fact, reports tell us that these animals have been having a hard time hunting leftover food thrown by restaurants, and other establishments.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently issued a warning to the public over the “unusual or aggressive rodent behavior” even in broad daylight, as these creatures look for food to survive amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
“Jurisdictions have closed or limited service at restaurants and other commercial establishments to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Rodents rely on food and waste generated by these establishments,” the CDC wrote in its official statement.
The organization added that the “community-wide closures” have led to a decrease of food sources to rodents, particularly in dense commercial areas. They also said that they have been receiving several reports of increasing rodent activities in certain places.
Urban rodentologist Bobby Corrigan told the NBC News the deserted streets across the U.S. states, rats are “in dire survival mode”. There are rats, he said, that may be “doing well” because “they’re eating well”, as some people poorly throw their trash or food wastes without securing their garbage bins well.
However, for rats depending on restaurant food waste, life is no longer the same and they are left with a “couple of choices”. Those choices, he said, are pretty grim – cannibalism, infanticide, and rat battles.
“They’re mammals just like you and I, and so when you’re really, really, hungry, you’re not going to act the same — you’re going to act very bad, usually. So these rats are fighting with one another, now the adults are killing the young in the nest and cannibalizing the pups,” Corrigan said.
Since the COVID-19 broke out, the U.S. government has been receiving reports of aggressive rodent activities in different states.
In Chicago for instance, rodents there have become more daring when hunting for meals.
Meanwhile in the street of French quarter in New Orleans, a video went viral in March showing rats running and swarming weeks after the local government enforced a stay-at-home order.
Washington, D.C., also said that received 500 rodent-related calls in the past 30 days, through their emergency local number 311.
The CDC then called on the public to eliminate all possible conditions that attract the rodents. It advise residents and business owners to seal possible access into their homes and establishments, remove debris and heavy vegetation, keep their trash in “tightly covered bins”, and remove food for pets and birds from their yards.
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