CDC issues ‘aggressive, cannibal’ rat warning

Health

(CNN) — With restaurants closed or open with limited capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic, a certain subset of those establishments’ “patrons” is struggling.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning that certain areas across the country are reporting “an increase in rodent activity,” as rats search for sources of food other than restaurant dumpsters.

Rodents are going as far as eating their young, cannibalizing their own, health officials say.

“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.”

As a result, rats are scampering elsewhere — including residential areas. Given the circumstances, they may even exhibit “unusual or aggressive” behavior, the CDC said.

To avoid rodents and prevent exposure to diseases they may carry, the CDC says people should make sure entrances to their homes or businesses are sealed, garbage is disposed in tightly covered bins, and pet and bird food is removed from yards.

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