They say that where there are humans, there are rats. These rodents accompanied man wherever he moved during immemorial times. The man throws away more garbage than he consumes and rats are always on the lookout for what man throws away. It may be that the pandemic caused the increase in rat infestation in the big cities of the world.
Habit changes during the pandemic led to increased rat infestation
They accompanied men during their long voyages across the oceans. They caused millions of deaths in the 14th century due to the bubonic plague, known as the Black Death. And today, in the 21st century, they are once again the masters of cities due to the confinement of 2020 and 2021 Although the cities were modernized and are no longer like in the Middle Ages, the rodents are still there. With food stores closed for months, they came to the surface in search of food.
As was seen in New York, where they were observed emerging from the sewers and walking the empty streets. In London, during strict confinement, there was also an infestation of rats. It was the same in all the big cities where, due to the absence of humans in the streets, the rats multiplied.
Statistics show an increase in the number of rodents
According to the New York Times, between January and November 2019 there were, 15,000 rat sightings in the city. By the end of 2021 that number skyrocketed to 21,000. This marks a growth in the rodent population during strict confinement. The biggest problem is that they pose an extra health risk to society
In the New York fall, 15 cases of leptospirosis were detected. This disease derives from contact with rodent urine. The disease bacteria can spread through urine, causing liver and kidney damage. Of course, 15 cases does not sound like many. Although they are when compared to the 26 cases in an entire decade between 2006 and 2016
what caused the increase in rats in cities?
New York City spent about $32 million in 2017 to eradicate rats, or at least, to control their population. Although, due to the pandemic, the best time for rodents to return to their reign occurred.
Restaurant and hospitality closures were one of the triggers. Much less waste was generated. As confinement became less stringent, outdoor eating places changed the scenario for rodents.
According to BBC statistics, more than 10,000 new outdoor eating spaces were created. New York citizens associate these new spaces with the large number of reported sightings.
Although it is uncertain whether the pandemic is responsible for an increase in rodent numbers. However, the problem was further exposed, i.e., it became clear that rats have been with us forever.