Rat sightings have been on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic. While it may seem like rats and pandemics go hand in hand, thanks to the Black Plague, the cause of this is something else entirely. Rats forage for any kind of food that they can get. There are two main reasons that people have been finding more rats near or in their homes recently. This article will explore those reasons.
Restaurants at the Beginning of the Pandemic
Rats are no stranger to dining out. But as the pandemic closed restaurants or limited their capacities, less food was kept in stock. Moreso, less food waste went to the trash bins. As such, many rats had to look elsewhere for a meal. Many restaurant-dwelling rats had to branch out to residential properties to find food.
Rats & Stay at Home Orders
So with the pandemic in full-swing, the rats have moved from the restaurants that were no longer fruitful and found their next meal in residential trash bins and pantries. Rats like to sneak in and swipe food. But this can be hard to do when everyone is staying at home. Because of more people staying home, rats are being spotted more often.
As restaurants continue to serve the public through the pandemic, hungry rats may swarm them. Many restaurants are reporting more rampant rat issues. As restaurants are keeping smaller food quantities for the pandemic, a swarm of rats can take a bigger chunk of the supply.
Rats and Spreading Disease
Rats are well-known for spreading diseases. A rat in the US can carry and transmit more than 35 diseases, such as Leptospirosis, Hantavirus, Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, Rat-bite fever, Salmonellosis, and Tularemia. Many of these can be dangerous for you and your family. However, there is little evidence of rats contracting or spreading COVID-19. According to the CDC, laboratory mice “do not seem to become infected or spread the infection.”