(Photo: Matt Baume | CC)
An advisory issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month is warning the public about hungry and “aggressive” rats on the hunt for new sources of food.
COVID-19 lockdown restrictions closed restaurants and businesses in dense commercial districts, including the French Quarter, cutting off rats’ main source of food and leading to the “unusual” behavior of trying to survive, according to a May 21 CDC advisory.
Some jurisdictions reported increased rodent activity following the coronavirus restrictions, according to the CDC.
Days after the coronavirus restrictions took effect in New Orleans, a TV crew filming an empty Bourbon Street captured a congregation of rats, which share a symbiotic relationship with the French Quarter.
Additionally, the CDC warned against a decline, then a resurgence in rat populations due to events such as hurricanes and recommended control measures such as bait stations.
Efforts to eradicate rats in the French Quarter, however, have been unsuccessful in the neighborhood’s 300-year existence.
Read the CDC’s advisory here.