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Amid the flurry of guidelines being announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a new report has set off a new alarm for coronavirus-weary Americans.
The CDC issued a new advisory warning that the long periods of lockdowns and business closures across the nation could result in a rise of “aggressive rodent behavior.”
“Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas,” the CDC reported, noting that rodents normally “rely on the food and waste generated” by restaurants and other food establishments which have been closed or limited in service during the pandemic outbreak.
“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 continued.
“Conditions that may attract and support rodent presence” are to be eliminated, the advisory noted, recommending “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.”
Hadn’t thought about this one: The CDC is warning that rats, evolutionarily adapted to resort to cannibalism during hard times, could exhibit “unusual or aggressive rodent behavior” stemming from their lockdown starvation diet when people return to restaurants.
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) May 25, 2020
The rise in the number of rats and other rodents due to the pandemic was echoed in an article in The Washington Post which declared that “rats are getting aggressive hunting for food.”
The report published Saturday noted that that “there have been increased reports of rat cannibalism and infanticide in New York, as well as more rat complaints in residential areas — including in Chicago — as humans produce more food waste at home.”
Back in March, the issue was already a problem in New Orleans where the city ramped up efforts to control the surge as the pandemic began its spread.
“I turn the corner, there’s about 30 rats at the corner, feasting on something in the middle of the street,” Charles Marsala told CBS News, at the time, adding that he’d “never” seen anything like it. The Chicago Tribune reported last month that, without the usual overflowing bins at restaurants and eateries, “rats are resilient and they’ll move into residential homes, eat dog feces, or even cannibalize dead or young rats before they’ll starve.”
Of course, the CDC’s warning of cannibalism, rat battles and rodent infanticide follows panic recently stirred by reports of “murder hornets,” Asian giant hornets that have invaded the U.S. Coupled with the terrifying videos of locust swarms, and the increased reports of UFO sightings, many social media users were looking for a “reboot” of 2020.
First it was “Murder Hornets.” Now, the CDC is warning us about “Aggressive Rodents on the hunt for food amid the pandemic.” I guess we needed more “fear porn” to make sure people stay indoors. It’s “trending” on Twitter.
You kids, watch out and stay safe, now! 😂🐀🐀🐀
— 🇺🇸Eric Carmen🇺🇸 (@RealEricCarmen) May 25, 2020
CAN WE REBOOT 2020?
And now, rampaging rats…https://t.co/ekCtMU7Pa0
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) May 23, 2020
Who had “aggressive rodents” after “murder hornets” on their bingo card?
— CRYO 💫🥃🛸 – Got job? CV:cryo.ws (@Cryo) May 25, 2020
Murder hornets and now aggressive rodents … 2020 is with the shits https://t.co/FaK0QPcW7H
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) May 24, 2020
Other Twitter users slammed the fear-mongering while some were convinced the Old Testament plagues are being revisited.
Aggressive Rodents, Killer Hornets, Deadly Corona, what next from the WHO fear porn merchants of doom I wonder?
Alien clams from the Moon?
Stay terrified and believe in your Government! https://t.co/dwOF7o5VG2
— Allan Ewart (@Scifiscreen) May 25, 2020
Oh, boy! As if the summer isn’t going to be interesting enough. I’m unsure if I can avoid becoming a victim of hornets who want to murder me, AND outrun aggressive rodents. If I put cookies out like I do for Santa, will they dine and dash? The more we know….🙄🐀🐝
— Laura-TheHashtagHag13✝️🙏🇺🇸 (@HashtagHag13) May 25, 2020
Pandemic, murder hornets, aggressive rodents, Oh My! 😱 pic.twitter.com/gBFMiZmmyn
— ResistGirl7 (@ResistGirl7) May 25, 2020
Okay, if I understand correctly, so far in 2020 there’s been
– an ongoing global pandemic
– confirmation that UFOs are real
– murder hornets
– a parallel universe where you procrastinate by waiting until yesterday to do a thing
– super pissed rodents
Did I miss anything?
— Cait Gordon ♿️ 👽 (@CaitGAuthor) May 25, 2020
How do you wanna go? Respiratory Virus? Murder Hornet? 17yr Cicada swarm to the face? Or being eaten alive by aggressive rodents?
— Don Cheech (@donciccio807) May 25, 2020
Coronavirus, locusts, cicadas, murder hornets, and now abnormally aggressive starving rats. Being first born, I’m starting to think I need to procure some lamb’s blood for my front door the way these plagues are starting to stack up.https://t.co/5pscska0iI
— Dr. Angela Rasmussen (@angie_rasmussen) May 25, 2020
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