The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention have warned of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior as the US looks to reopen following the months-long lockdown due to the coronavirus.
Since the outbreak of the global pandemic in Wuhan, China, in December last year, the US has registered 1.68 million positive cases and over 98,000 deaths.
CDC Warns of Increased Rodent Activities
In the wake of the closure of eateries and limited services, rats are finding it hard to manage their hunger. In a new set of guidelines issued, the CDC warned people about increased activities and aggressive behavior of rats. "Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas. Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food," said the CDC in its advisory.
"Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to rodents and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior," it added.
In its advisory, the CDC asked residents and restaurant owners to seal up holes where hungry and aggressive rats could get inside, and to clear up debris and garbage. "Preventive actions include sealing up access into homes and businesses, removing debris and heavy vegetation, keeping garbage in tightly covered bins, and removing pet and bird food from their yards."
Hungry Rats Resorting to Eating Their Own
Last month NBC News reported about rats resorting to cannibalism to satiate their hunger in the absence of food. Bobby Corrigan, a rodentologist who specializes in urban vermin, told the outlet: "It's just like we've seen in the history of mankind, where people try to take over lands . . . and fight to the death, literally, for who's going to conquer that land."
"A new 'army' of rats comes in, and whichever army has the strongest rats is going to conquer that area. When you're really, really hungry, you're not going to act the same — you're going to act very bad, usually."
Speaking about a picture of Queens sent to him by a pest expert, Corrigan said that it revealed an aftermath of a monstrous rat fight. "This nest of rats had turned on each other as they starved, leaving a pile of rat limbs on the sidewalk there," he said.