Starving rats are becoming extremely aggressive while struggling to find food amid the pandemic
Many rodents such as rats have become unusually aggressive while searching for food, as their regular supply from restaurants has been stopped due to the coronavirus lockdown.
While millions of people have been practicing a stay-at-home lifestyle and restaurants have closed their doors amid the pandemic, rats have apparently gone on a survival mode. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people should be aware of ‘aggressive rodent behavior’. As Mail Online reports, the CDC said:
“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.”
Furthermore, the CDC is strongly advising homeowners and restaurant owners to watchfully check their properties and seal up holes that might allow rodents to sneak inside. They continue:
“Follow established guidelines when cleaning up after rodent infestations to prevent exposure to rodent-borne diseases. Fleas are common on rodents. In area of heavy rodent infestations, workers should consider using a repellent registered by the US Environmental Protection Agency.”
Moreover, as hunting for food has become more challenging, some rats have reportedly restored cannibalism in their colonies.
Last month, Bobby Corrigan, an urban rodentologist, told NBC News:
“A restaurant all of a sudden closes now, which has happened by the thousands in not just New York City but coast to coast and around the world, and those rats that were living by that restaurant, some place nearby, and perhaps for decades having generations of rats that depended on that restaurant food, well, life is no longer working for them, and they only have a couple of choices.”
Terrifyingly, those choices might lead to cannibalism, rat battles, and complete havoc on the streets. Corrigan explains:
“It’s just like we’ve seen in the history of mankind, where people try to take over lands and they come in with militaries and armies and fight to the death, literally, for who’s going to conquer that land. And that’s what happens with rats. A new ‘army’ of rats come in, and whichever army has the strongest rats is going to conquer that area.”
According to the urban rodentologist, rats are acting like regular mammals forced to fight for their food. What’s even more horrifying is that, as Corrigan says, ‘the adults are killing the young in the nest and cannibalizing the pups.’
To repress rat populations, several cities, including New Orleans, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, are taking extensively aggressive measurements.
Recently, viral videos from New Orleans have emerged, showing large groups of rats taking over the streets in usually-bustling neighborhoods like the French Quarter. Local officials believe this is happening due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
In March, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said at a news conference:
“What we have seen is these practices are driving our rodents crazy. And what rodents do, they will find food, and they will find water. That puts our street homeless in dire, dire straits. And that’s why I’m so laser-focused on it right now.”