Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Rats, Why Did it have to be Rats?

I read a The Wall Street Journal article this morning about rats in New York City.

I never thought about the coronavirus impact on animals other than humans, but it seems that the effects of the virus are driving rats to venture further afield to find food since the normal places around restaurants and food operations are producing less garbage. 

But, there are the rat hunters and their dogs that attempt to help reduce the population and maintain a more healthy environment.

One comment in the article caused me pause:

“It’s normally crawling with rats,” he said. “You uncover the top of the trash can and there are like 20 of them in there, looking at you like snakes in a pit.”

I guess the dirty underbelly of the city is something that fortunately usually only comes out at night, although I have read stories of how the rats are becoming more bold. 

I am happy to read that there are people and their dogs trying to control the rodent population, but it seems that the city should be doing more to reduce the rat population. 

Rats have been a problem in cities for centuries. Bubonic plague was spread by rats and was responsible for the Black Death of the Middle Ages which was recorded the deadliest pandemic in human history responsible for the deaths of 75-200 million people. It took 200 hears for the population of Europe to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Rats, why does it have to be rats?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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