CDC Warns Against 'Unusual or Aggressive' Rodent Activity Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic is making things tough for everyone — including rats. This weekend, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warned how COVID-19 has led indirectly to unusually aggressive rodent activity and other pest control issues. This concern is due to the closure of businesses and restaurants that have left scavengers with fewer food sources.

The CDC explained that areas with strict stay-at-home orders and restrictions on businesses often see more aggressive behavior from mice, rats and other pests. These rodents once relied on the steady flow of waste coming out of restaurants and other businesses for food, and without those resources, they are fighting for any scrap they think they can get. Of course, in many cases, this made people uncomfortable since they now had to acknowledge how many rodents there were hiding among them.

"Jurisdictions have closed or limited service at restaurants and other commercial establishments to help limit the spread of COVID-19," the CDC said. "Rodents rely on the food and waste generated by these establishments. Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas."

Already, viral social media posts have shown rats walking around out in the open, where they might not have tread previously. Some have even shown "unusual or aggressive" behavior, and the CDC warns that people should take precautions to avoid these kinds of encounters.

The CDC advises Americans to make sure the entrances to their homes and businesses are closed up, and all preventative measures for pests are in place ahead of time. They also advise covering up garbage bins and disposing of food waste securely so as not to attract unwanted visitors.

Sadly, the CDC also recommended removing bird feeders and other food sources from yards for now, as they may serve to attract rodents. Nature lovers are losing more and more ground to the coronavirus pandemic, with even outdoor spaces not necessarily safe, depending on the crowd sizes.

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Though this warning was included in the CDC's COVID-19 coverage, the agency linked out to helpful resources on dealing with rodents in general, with everything from identifying rodents and cleaning up after them to removing them from homes and businesses and preventing them from returning. They also provided information on the diseases that rodents can carry or the ill health effects that can come from living in close quarters with them for prolonged periods.

For the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the websites of the CDC and the World Health Organization.