Amid Pandemic, Rats Getting Increasingly Desperate

As restaurant Dumpsters suffer, so, too, do rodents
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2020 8:40 AM CDT
Amid Pandemic, Pity the Lowly Rat
In this 2000 file photo, rats swarm around a bag of garbage near a dumpster in New York.   (AP Photo/Robert Mecea, File)

Nearly 100,000 Americans are dead, almost 40 million are unemployed, and now the Washington Post informs us that even the lowly rat is suffering amid the pandemic as shuttered restaurants means "trash bins are no longer overflowing with scrumptious leftovers hordes of rodents subsisted on." That's a little more serious than it sounds, as the critters have gotten aggressive to the point where the CDC is issuing guidance on keeping them at bay.

How aggressive? The Post cites instances of infanticide and cannibalism in which a "pile of rat limbs on the sidewalk was all that remained." In an earlier story, the Post notes that rats have been known to do extensive damage to cars by chewing wiring. "Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food," the CDC says. It recommends that you store all food and trash securely. "Deny them the opportunity, and you’ll never even know they’ve visited your property," a pest expert says. (More coronavirus stories.)

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