US warns of aggressive cannibal rats facing shortage of rubbish to eat – Pest

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned of “unusual or aggressive” behaviour in American rats as a consequence of more than two months of human lockdown.

Rat feeding in Central Park

The Guardian reported that the national health body said that rats were observed resorting to eating their young in the wake of urban shutdowns.

In recently updated rodent-control guidelines, the CDC said: “Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas.

“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 behaviour.”

Elevated levels of rat aggression have been observed in New York, where there are increased reports of cannibalism and infanticide, and New Orleans, where unusual rat behaviour was caught on CCTV.

Published: 26 May 2020

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