2020 was a strange and difficult year, with anxiety about our health and the well-being of our loved ones, employment worries and feeling isolated. To make matters even worse, whilst most of us cannot invite our loved ones into our homes, rats are inviting themselves in … If you are experiencing a rat pest control problem after Christmas keep reading, this news article will answer most of your questions.
Starving Giant Rats
According to the Mirror millions of “starving giant rats” could overrun UK homes over the holiday period. Rats will feed on any human food they come across, which is often leftovers from restaurants and pubs, and food discarded in street bins. Due to lock downs and tier restrictions, many eateries have not reopened, or reopened for takeaway only, and there is less footfall in city areas. Therefore, rats have needed to adapt and find new food supplies and places to feed.
As a nation, we enjoy eating out. As this largely has not been possible this year, we have embraced takeaway, eat at home options. ITV news reports during the first nine months of the year, 123.2 million takeaways were ordered through Just Eat. Any food waste from these meals and food made at home, goes straight into our household or recycling waste. According to a report by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) UK households increased their food waste by 30% in July this year, with household food waste figures estimated at a staggering 6.6 million tonnes. It’s little wonder then, that the rats decided to follow us home.
Not a Creature was Stirring?
The BPCA (British Pest Control Association) reported a 51% increase in rodent activity in spring this year, with empty buildings and quiet streets sited for the spike in activity. The Mirror reports a higher figure for last month, with 78% of pest controllers reporting increased sightings and higher numbers of home-owners seeking help for their rat pest problem. The Mirror explains, millions of hungry rats, some measuring over a foot in length, are attracted to entering our cosy, centrally heated, food-filled homes. Natalie Bungay, the British Pest Control Association’s technical officer stated,
“As temperatures begin to drop and food becomes scarce, rats will begin looking for shelter and scraps in more urban locations… and as autumn and winter push on, rats start to head indoors.”
The Independent gives a similar caution, warning that cold conditions coupled with winter lock downs could produce a “perfect storm” for rat breeding and infestations at the start of the new year. As rats do not hibernate and breed all year round, there is concern that rats will continue to multiply inside our homes.
After a year of worrying about our health, the very last thing we need is further concern that we have shared our Christmas holidays with such potentially harmful pests. Rats carry various harmful diseases which can spread to humans, including Leptospirosis or Weil’s disease, Salmonella, Listeria, Toxoplasma Gondii and Hantavirus. They can also cause structural damage to our homes, cause fires, floods and have been known to pose a threat to human life by gnawing through gas pipes.
If you have noticed rats in or around your property, Avon Pest Control recommend contacting a professional pest control agency, who have the correct safety equipment, protective clothing, and access to professional grade rodenticides which are unavailable to the public.
Have rats affected your Christmas holiday enjoyment? Call Avon Pest Control today on 01926 632 929 or 01789 293 463 or click here to visit or website for more information. Let Avon Pest Control solve your pest problem.
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