Everyone online has been keeping what I call these unofficial "pandemic bingo cards". You fill out this virtual bingo crap show, with all the different strange things that could only seem to happen in 2020. Like of course this year, we had to have murder hornets, right? Luckily those never showed up here. But, COVID continues to keep things weird.

Recently, around the state, there's been a serious uptick in the amount of rats people are seeing in the streets. Probably at first, again because 2020, most of us assumed they were glow-in-the-dark zombie rats that were poised to take over the Earth. At least, that would totally fit the 2020 bingo narrative, but it's still quite the problem regardless.

Most folks who live in the more urban areas of Maine will see this the most naturally. I live in Hampden. There are maybe half a dozen restaurants in this town, and all miles from where I live, so I'm never really going to see much more than what I ever see. But what if you lived in downtown Bangor?

With restaurants more closed than open, rats are having to go elsewhere to look for food. Don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming Bangor restaurants have a direct rat problem, but a year ago when things were full tilt business-wise, dumpsters out back were always full of juicy tidbit for a rat dinner. Now, those dumpsters are pretty bare.

Those giant metal rodent restaurants are now closing for the rats. Since they don't know what to do about it, and can't throw money at it like we can, they start looking around for new sources of food. That takes them out of downtown, and into the neighborhoods, where they'er getting into people's trash, and worse, their homes.

According to WABI - TV5, exterminators have seen their business jump as much as 30% in some places. That's a lot of rats! And a lot of headaches. It's recommended that you keep your home and yard clean, and keep trash outside, so as not to give them a reason to come inside looking for din-din.

So for your pandemic bingo card, if you picked that we'd need the Pied Piper to come save us from Templeton and his friends, you can add that to your card. Me personally, I picked the asteroid that's hurtling toward Earth on election day. We'll see who ends up being closer. Though, that asteroid is sounding preeeetty good right about now....

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