News & Politics

Here Come the Cicada Rats

Rats love to munch on the bugs, and that could be a problem.

Photo via iStock

It looks like the emerging Brood X cicadas could bring some new friends (well, enemies) with them. Montgomery County health officials are asking residents to take steps to prevent waves of new rat infestations that could come as a result of the cicadas. Why? Cicadas are delicious, if you’re a rat (or even a human), but then…they go away. When that happens, rats will inevitably go looking for new food sources, like your garbage. Health officials suggest making an effort to not leave food outside, and doing a yard-clutter clean-out now could help prevent rats from building nests. Also, don’t leave your garbage out overnight, if possible.

The last time Brood X was here, Montgomery County health inspectors recorded large increases in residential and commercial complaints about rats, according to a release from the county. In June 2004, they received 436 complaints, compared to 60 the year before. Last year, there were just 31 complaints. Expect that number to go up dramatically later this year.

And if rats aren’t bad enough, you should also probably keep an eye out for Copperhead snakes, which apparently enjoy snacking on the bugs, as well. According to WJLA, the snakes may be seen more during the day that usual if they’re out to gorge out on cicadas. However, residents shouldn’t be too worried about the slithery animals; if you see one, just leave it alone.