Bug Blog

Eating Rats As A Form Of Pest Control Is Becoming The Norm In Rodent-Ravaged China

Considering that rats have been behind the deadliest disease epidemics in history, a variety of different methods of rodent control have been developed over the course of human history. Today, baiting systems are commonly used for containing rat populations and the diseases they may spread. Different types of baiting systems for rats have been effectively put into use within a variety of different settings, including crops, buildings, homes, sea vessels and large public complexes. However, due to a current and massive invasion of 2 billion rats into urban areas of China, numerous citizens in the country are abandoning what are now insufficient pest control methods in favor of cooking and eating the invading rats. In some cases, the captured pests are being sold to wealthy upper class citizens as exotic delicacies. This scenario may sound implausible, but the country is now undergoing one of the worst rat epidemics in its history, and the rodents have long been considered a tasty and prized food source in the country. Considering these two facts, the solution to this nationwide pest control problem presents itself.

A lake located in southern China flooded not too long ago, resulting in widespread destruction in nearby urban areas. This flooding displaced at least 2 billion rats that had been nesting in both rural and urban regions of the country. In rural areas of Hunan, the rat hoard has already destroyed 6,200 square miles of cropland, and they are reported to be carrying diseases as well. Now, this impossibly large mob of rats is invading numerous areas of southern China where they are, surprisingly, not necessarily unwelcome by many residents. Instead of allowing the intrusive rats to cause structural damages, physical injuries, or perhaps, even the spread of disease, numerous villagers and residents of several towns in southern China are cooking and eating the rodents. In one town, a local street vendor claimed that residents are in the habit of eating anything that moves, including rats. In another affluent town named Guangzhou, street vendors are paying high prices to rat collectors in order to sell the rodents at an even higher price to wealthy residents on the street. In addition to the flood, experts in China believe that the massive Three Gorges Dam project is causing armies of rats to flee from the site and into more populated areas of China where villagers have made a habit out of capturing the animals for profit as well as for indulging their appetites.

Would you be willing to buy a cooked rat from a street vendor if you knew it was taken from the street? Or do you prefer farm-raised?