COVID Long Tail: Record Rat Reports For New York City

The New York Times reports:

Rodents are among New York’s permanent features. But across the city, one hears the same thing: They are running amok like never before. Through Wednesday, there had been more than 21,000 rat sightings reported to 311 this year, compared with 15,000 in the same period in 2019 (and about 12,000 in 2014).

The rate of initial health inspections to uncover “active rats signs” nearly doubled in the latest fiscal year. By some measures, the problem may have eased slightly before the coronavirus came. But the rodents have roared back since, thanks to a confluence of factors.

When restaurants closed, rats had to scavenge outside more. With most people stuck at home, so did residential waste. A wetter-than-usual summer, coupled with other effects of a warming climate that have helped rats thrive, heightened the problem, health officials said.

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