LA’s Rat Problem Got Worse When Trash Heaps Were Removed
After a series of news reports in May and June this year revealed how large, rotting trash piles in Los Angeles were infested with rats and posed the risk of a new pandemic, the city vowed to clean them up. But, the authorities were in for a shock when they learned the rat problem was only getting worse.
It was in May this year when the pictures of huge trash piles on Ceres Avenue near downtown’s Produce District went viral in the U.S. Drone videos shot in May (Published on May 20, 2020) demonstrated how the authorities had failed to keep a check on uncollected garbage. Mayor Eric Garcetti took note of the developments. Nearly a week later, the trash that had been piling up for months was cleared.
On June 10, journalists reported having spotted an army of rats racing across the same spot. The news report consulted rodent experts who warned that the rat problem of Los Angeles is “out of control.”
Human-Wildlife Interactions Advisor with UCLA, Niamh Quinn said that she had never spotted so many (rodent) droppings after having investigated the place where the mountain of trash and racing army of rats was found.
Is the Rat Problem Confined to the Downtown LA Area Only?
It is highly likely that the rat problem is not limited to downtown LA.
Rat infestations are not confined to small territories especially when the food source is taken away.
This is exactly what has happened in downtown LA.
After the piles of trash were removed in response to media coverage and public outrage that followed, it is highly likely that rats have moved to nearby areas in search of food.
No wonder, the rat problems are now more visible across the city. The signs have been there for many years now but it’s high time the authorities, as well as the public, take the growing rodent population in the city more seriously.
Clearly, there is no time to lose.
The city of LA needs to act quickly and decisively before we start having rat problems in every neighborhood.
NBCLA reported on June 19, 2020, that rats now pose a greater threat to homes and businesses in LA.
Video Embed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPrsYTiRjXk
Can The Rat Problem in LA Potentially Lead to A Pandemic?
While the risk of the outbreak of a medieval disease in LA might seem far-fetched, the reality is that filthy-streets, improper garbage management, and absence of a formal rodent control program can together contribute to a public health crisis in the future. LA is being referred to as the new ‘city of rats’ for a reason.
In 2019, for instance, a total of 124 cases of typhus – a rodent-borne disease – were confirmed in Los Angeles. The disease is typically carried and spread amongst other species by infected fleas.
Rats are common carriers of this disease. Therefore, anyone coming in contact with infected rats or their feces can get infected. The symptoms of typhus include vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, and rashes.
According to Reform California, the increase in the trash on LA streets is largely due to the growing homeless population which increased by 16% during 2018-19.
Since rats can easily survive and thrive in the garbage-filled areas in the city, experts warn they are becoming ideal breeding grounds for various diseases including typhus and bubonic plague.
Keeping Rats Away – What Should A Homeowner In LA Do?
If you haven’t had any rat problems in the past, do not let yourself believe that rats won’t invade your dwelling or business establishment in the feature.
As discussed above, no one in LA can afford to ignore the growing rodent population. Homeowners should consider rodent-proofing their homes at the earliest.
After all, prevention is better than cure.
Or, you could be in for a huge, unpleasant surprise when you spot rats moving around your kitchen, attic, and basement.
The money spent on preventing a rat problem is likely to be much lower in value than the damage rats can cause.
In case you notice early signs of a potential rat problem, do not ignore it or expect the authorities to clean up trash in your neighborhood on short notice. They may not do the needful on time and your neighbors may already have a rat problem.
You will have to protect your property from a possible rat invasion on your own and the best way to do that is to hire a rodent control specialist in LA.