Animal’s Daily Dirty Rats News

Thanks to our blogger pals over at The Daley Gator for the linkback.  If you aren’t reading The Daley Gator every day, you should be!

Now then:  There has recently surfaced another unexpected result of the Kung Flu; urban rat populations are going hungry and becoming increasingly aggressive.  Shades of Willard!  Excerpt:

Rats are growing increasingly aggressive in their hunt for food as restaurants across the US remain shuttered to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned. 

With many restaurants now only open for takeout services, the bins that used to be filled with scraps and refuse the rodents once feasted on are much emptier — and they are getting desperate. 

“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,” said the CDC in their release last week. 

It advises that “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” to ward off the pests. 

The increased rodent activity around residential neighborhoods has health authorities concerned, with rats known to spread illnesses including salmonella and Weil’s disease, according to pest control firm Rentokil. 

In several major cities in the US, reports have emerged of desperate rats swarming the streets in the search for food. 

Here’s the funny thing; rats aren’t as different from us, behaviorally, as we’d like to think.  If we cut off the flow of food into the major cities, you’d see food riots within a matter of days.

Most folks don’t realize what an enormous, teetering stack of cards our modern society is based on.  The cities are literally fed and watered by a massive, complex and fragile logistics chain, and were that chain to be broken, the rats wouldn’t be the only ones affected.

And here’s the thing:  No matter what else happens, the rats will come out all right.  We might not, but the rats will.  Humans have been contending with rats for many millennia, and the best we’ve ever been able to do is to fight them to a draw.  The shutdown of rat food sources by the Kung Flu is a great illustration on just how easily the human/rat balance can be tipped.