Rats are making a comeback to the streets of New York in greater numbers than ever before due to the rapid expansion of outdoor dining sheds that have sprung up along the city streets.
During the early part of the pandemic, rats were faced with massive food shortages as restaurants and bars shut up shop entirely.
It forced the disease-carrying vermin to become even more aggressive in their search for sustenance.
With food waste no longer being discarded on the streets or into nearby trash cans it meant the rats had to forage further for food.
Outdoor dining has helped New York City restaurants survive the pandemic but now rats are feasting on the leftovers guests leave behind
Once venues close for the night, rats come out to have their own dinner
The vermin are rarely present when people are out enjoying their meal, but once they leave, the rats reign
By the time venues opened their doors once again, rats that survived the famine of the pandemic found they had an even wider choice thanks to the city’s outdoor dining policy which allowed for businesses to set up platforms where there were none previously.
Footage captured by Inside Edition on one summer evening shows the animals poking their way up through the slats of wooden platforms on the busy streets of the Big Apple.
The ravenous rats can be seen scurrying across tables and chairs looking for leftovers while dozens were spotted at one venue having a dinner party of their own underneath the outdoor wooden decking.
Although rats have long been a part of the urban environment of the nation’s largest city, the sudden expansion in outdoor dining venues has given the rodents an even greater source of food.
The ears of one rat could be seen in amongst the furniture at a restaurant in Manhattan
Rats were caught on film scurrying away into the darkness
Another rat could be seen clinging to the side of a table led as they tried to avoid being caught
At Miriam in Brooklyn cameras filmed rats that could be seen running across tables and chairs in search of scraps.
In Manhattan at B Size Pizza in Midtown, staff appeared to be unaware of the uninvited guests but noted that they had been spotted at night.
‘We do a thorough cleaning every day before the shift and we have an exterminator that comes out every week,’ said the restaurant manager.
At Arriba Arriba tacos in Midtown, rats were seen climbing over chairs and tables long after diners had departed.
‘We have recently taken the whole thing down and cleaned everything out and poured cement,’ said manager Brent Reil. ‘It’s happening all over the city,’ he added.
A rat can be seen protruding it little head up between the cracks on a outdoor dining platform
The rats are able to squeeze through the tiniest of gaps in order to reach the food they crave
After hours, the rates crawl out from every nook and cranny to feast on what others leave behind
Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out an advisory alerting people to be aware of ‘aggressive rodent behavior’ on the unsuspecting public.
‘Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas,’ the CDC said. ‘Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new 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 advisory reads.
The CDC is suggesting that homeowners and restaurant owners check their properties and seal up holes where rats might be able to sneak inside and feast on garbage.
‘Follow established guidelines when cleaning up after rodent infestations to prevent exposure to rodent-borne diseases.’
‘It’s just like we’ve seen in the history of mankind, where people try to take over lands and they come in with militaries and armies and fight to the death, literally, for who’s going to conquer that land. And that’s what happens with rats,’ Bobby Corrigan, an urban rodentologist who has both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in rodent pest management, said.
Bobby Corrigan is an urban rodentologist who has both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in rodent pest management