In a follow-up piece to "NYC's Rat Population Hit With Hunger Crisis During Lockdowns," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a new warning that rats across the country are becoming hangry as they scavenge for food amid the closure of restaurants triggered by COVID-19 lockdowns.
"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. Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to rodents and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior," the CDC warning read.
The CDC said some regions have reported "an increase in rodent activity" and cautioned about their aggressive behavior.
An urban rodentologist recently said NYC rats have become hostile and are resorting to cannibalism as food becomes scarce with restaurants closed.
"All of a sudden New York City to some degree is cleaner than ever before," said urban rodentologist Bobby Corrigan. "You end up with this group of disoriented, stressed rats foraging about."
And it's not just NYC rats posing problems amid the virus pandemic, Washington, D.C., saw an explosion of calls to the city about rat problems between March and April. Baltimore saw nearly 11,000 calls or online 311 requests about rats during the same period.
Stressed-out and aggressive rats in major US cities could become a regular occurrence until the rat population normalizes, considering our report from several weeks ago that suggests 25% of U.S. restaurants will go out of business.