The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning that rats and other rodents are becoming more aggressive as they struggle to find food amid the coronavirus pandemic. While restaurants have been forced to close their doors or switch exclusively to delivery and takeout, they have been creating less of the trash that the rats became accustomed to feasting on.
Without dumpsters full of food waste, rats have had to venture out farther to find food. As they struggle to eat, they have become more aggressive, fighting other animals, and in some cases, resorting to cannibalism.
"Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas," the CDC said. "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 stated that rats will follow their noses to find food and are more likely to find a way into people's homes in search of it. The health agency said that people, especially those who live in urban areas or near a restaurant, should take precautions to keep rodents away.
"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," the CDC said.
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