written by
Jock Brocas

London’s Rat Population Booms in Lockdown

3 min read

The Rat population has boomed during the pandemic and here’s why? The global pandemic caused everyone to stay at home, and in the UK, it’s been pretty bad. The global crisis resulted in more homeowners dealing with pest and rodent problems throughout the duration of the lockdown. The implementation of lockdowns has helped in halting the transmissions of COVID-19. On the other hand, pest controllers have seen a rapid increase in rat sightings in London.

What the figures show In Regard To Rat Infestations

In a study, the British Pest Control Association reported an increase in the recorded sightings of rats. News reports reveal that during the first lockdown in London, 51% of rat activity has been recorded. At the same time, 78% of rat sightings was reported in October 2020.

Pest.Co.UK also reported that in 2020 alone, there was an increase of 30 million rats as compared to the figures tallied in 2019. The rapid growth of these rats means plenty of work to pest controllers.

Increased rat sightings at home

rat population
Photographer: Brett Jordan | Source: Unsplash

Pest experts believe that the closure of business establishments triggered the unusual sightings of rats during the pandemic. Rats usually get their source of food through bins and food waste of these establishments. Since many restaurants are empty or closed during the pandemic, rats now look for other means to go to residential areas to search for food.

Why Has The Rat Population Grown?

Most of the families at present are spending most of their time at home preparing and eating their food. Because of this, rats are now drawn to these places to look for food sources. Pest exterminators from London shared that they have clients who did not know that rats have already infested their homes. Rats can even dig tunnels to enter the homes and can gnaw materials such as soft bricks.

Rats are known to multiply rapidly. In a year, it is estimated that there are thousands of rats born. As of now, the boom time of the sightings of the rats has brought alarm to London residents. Residents have mentioned that they have seen rats as big as 18 inches (ca. 46 cm) and gathered in colonies. Moreover, some even saw these rats eating other mice.

Prevention and control of rat population and infestation

If a rat infestation isn’t addressed, it can trigger a worst-case scenario not only at home but for the whole community. Rats impose health risks for humans. Hence, local communities are expected to carry out health and safety protocols to fight off rat infestation in the city.

In a week, every UK-based pest control company sees a huge increase in calls for home pest solutions. Hence, they advise everyone that the best way to eradicate rats is by prevention.

This scenario is also applicable to other parts of the globe. Most of the time, rats would go to places to look for food and hiding places. Consulting a pest control team is ideal to ensure your home is protected. At the same time, you can implement the following safety measures at home to prevent vermin sightings:

Top Rat Prevention Tips

  • · Always keep your attics, basements, and crawlspaces well-ventilated
  • · Make sure to seal all the holes and cracks in your home.
  • · Repair leaking pipes and drainage system. Rats’ favorite breeding places are wet sites so make sure that these areas are clean and dry all the time.
  • · Store all your food in containers that are properly sealed.
  • · Dispose your left-over food properly and clean spills immediately. Rats are always on the hunt for food and will always be present if there is an available food source.
  • · To avoid piling up, throw garbage regularly. Trash bins should be properly sealed to avoid rats from rummaging your waste.

Whether you live in the UK or not, It is best to make sure your family will not be a target for infestation by applying pest control efforts. If you have already seen a rat infestation in your place, seek the help of a pest control firm to address the situation. Pest control services use specific treatments in eradicating these rats. Multiple treatments by pest professionals eradicate the presence of rats in residential properties.