The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned of “unusual or aggressive” behavior in rats and rodents throughout the United States as a result of Covid-19’s two months of human lockdown.
City-based rodents now find themselves unable to forage on restaurant waste, street garbage and other food sources.“Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas,” the CDC said in recently updated rodent-control guidelines.
“Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food. Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to rodents and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior.”
Spikes in levels of rat aggression has been noted in New York and New Orleans, where unusual rat behavior was caught on security video.
“I turn the corner, there’s about 30 rats at the corner, feasting on something in the middle of the street,” a local tour guide told a news source.
Complaints have also sprung up in Chicago with reports of infestations in housing blocks as rodents search for new sources of food.
Rodent experts predict large increases in urban rat intrusions.
“Many of these rats in our cities depend on their nightly food, which is the restaurants and hotels and bars and doughnut shops and everything that we consume on the go,” rodentologist Bobby Corrigan told The Washington Post.
The overall rat-to-human ratio is daunting yet notoriously hard to measure.
The CDC warns that rodent population upheavals are common during natural disasters.