The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning that the coronavirus pandemic is causing rodent outbreaks in areas that might not otherwise see them.
According to the CDC, rats, mice and other rodents typically congregate in dense commercial areas, as they rely on food waste from restaurants and other establishments to survive. But because the pandemic has either shuttered or drastically reduced restaurants' business, the rodents have been forced to find other 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 wrote on its website.
In addition to being unsightly and messy, rats and mice can carry illnesses that can be transmitted to humans with a bite or a scratch.
In order to keep rats and other pests away, the CDC recommends that homeowners and landlords take a few precautions.
- Seal access to homes and businesses
- Remove debris and heavy vegetation from yards
- Make sure garbage stays in tightly-sealed receptacles
- Remove pet and bird food from yards.
- When cleaning up after rats and rodents, spray EPA-approved flea repellant