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Rodents are spotted running across tables and chairs while searching for leftovers when dining al fresco

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New Yorkers who enjoy alfresco dining in the city may have “legs” to think after images were revealed showing rats running across tables and chairs in the dark.

A camera crew filmed the rodents running in the dark through multiple food structures in Brooklyn and Manhattan — including on tables and chairs that customers will use hours later.

Footage taken by Inside Edition on a summer evening shows the animals making their way through the slats of wooden platforms in the bustling streets of the Big Apple.

The voracious rats can run across tables and chairs in search of leftovers, while dozens were spotted in one location having their own dinner party under the wooden deck outside.

At Miriam’s in Brooklyn, cameras filmed rats that you could see running across tables and chairs in search of leftovers.

In Manhattan at B Size Pizza in Midtown, the staff seemed unaware of the uninvited guests, but noted that they had been seen at night.

“We do a deep cleaning every day for the shift and we have an exterminator who comes every week,” says the restaurant manager.

Meanwhile, at Arriba Arriba tacos in Midtown, rats were seen climbing over chairs and tables long after diners had left.

“We recently demolished everything, cleaned everything and poured cement,” says manager Brent Reil. “It’s happening all over town,” he added.

Inside Edition filmed rats in multiple outdoor dining areas, including a Brooklyn restaurant, in the photo

The pests have feasted on food left on the floor by diners after restaurants close overnight

The pests have feasted on food left on the floor by diners after restaurants close overnight

Rats are rarely present when people are enjoying their meal outside, but once they are gone, the rats rule.  An eatery in Hell's Kitchen is depicted before the rats arrive to feast on the leftovers

Rats are rarely present when people are enjoying their meal outside, but once they are gone, the rats rule. An eatery in Hell’s Kitchen is depicted before the rats arrive to feast on the leftovers

While rats have long been part of the urban environment of the nation’s largest city, the sudden expansion of outdoor dining options has given rodents an even greater food source.

During the onset of the pandemic, rats faced massive food shortages as restaurants and bars closed their stores completely.

It forced the disease-carrying pests to become even more aggressive in their search for food.

Because food waste was no longer thrown out on the street or in nearby garbage cans, the rats had to search further for food.

By the time venues reopened, rats surviving the pandemic’s famine found they had an even wider choice thanks to the city’s outdoor dining policy, which allowed businesses to set up platforms where there were none before.

A rat's ears were seen among the furniture in a Manhattan restaurant

A rat’s ears were seen among the furniture in a Manhattan restaurant

Another rat was seen clinging to the side of a table as they tried to avoid getting caught

Another rat was seen clinging to the side of a table as they tried to avoid getting caught

A rat was spotted in a narrow space between two wooden slats at a NYC restaurant

A rat was spotted in a narrow space between two wooden slats at a NYC restaurant

The rats can squeeze through the tiniest holes to reach the food they crave

The rats can squeeze through the tiniest holes to reach the food they crave

After hours, the rats crawl out of every nook and cranny to feast on what others leave behind

After hours, the rats crawl out of every nook and cranny to feast on what others leave behind

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory warning people about “aggressive rodent behavior” among the unsuspecting public.

“Community closures have led to a decline in the food available to rodents, especially in densely populated commercial areas,” the CDC said. “Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new food sources.”

Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in rodent-related service requests and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior.

The CDC proposes that homeowners and restaurant owners check their properties and plug holes for rats to sneak in and feast on garbage.

“Follow established guidelines when cleaning up after rodent infestations to avoid exposure to rodent-borne diseases.”

“It’s just like we’ve seen in the history of mankind where people try to take over land and they come in with armies and armies and fight to the death, literally, for who is going to conquer that land. And that’s what happens to rats,” Bobby Corrigan, an urban rodent veterinarian with both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in rodent control, said.

Bobby Corrigan is an urban rodent veterinarian with both a master's degree and a Ph.D.  in rodent control

Bobby Corrigan is an urban rodent veterinarian with both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in rodent control

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