CDC warns of increase in "unusual or aggressive" rats as primary sources of food dry up

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has alerted to another hazard emerging in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: unusual or aggressive rodent behavior.

That's right, rats are becoming a growing concern in some communities as their typical sources of food from restaurants and bars stop serving in-person meals.

As community-wide closures of local eateries lead to a decrease in food waste, a popular means for rodents to eat food, some towns and cities are noting an increase in rodent activity "as rodents search for new sources of food."

(Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

The warning was passed along to environmental health and rodent control programs that may begin seeing an "increase in service requests related to rodents" that may be acting "unusual or aggressive."

Rat populations often ebb and flow with the occurrences of natural disasters like floods and hurricanes. When a storm or major weather event emerges, the rat populations decline. But once commercial activity resumes, so does an increase in their populations. 

As rats go searching for new food, they may be targeting other locations, like garbage cans and bird food on people's properties. Pest control experts may find they need to replenish rodent bait stations more frequently.

Learn more here.