Winter Lockdowns Likely To Produce ‘Perfect Storm’ For Rat Breeding
The combination of a cold winter and a prolonged lockdown could see the rat population spike.
With an unconventional 2020 look set to spill over into next year, experts have warned that there’s an increased risk in home invasions of the vermin kind: in that rats will be more likely to seek shelter in houses, in what’s being branded the ‘perfect storm’ when it comes to their breeding habits.
There is likely to be surge in rat numbers due to several contributing factors, the Independent reports.
Jenny Rathbone, from Pest.co.uk, said:
We are facing a challenging winter with potentially ‘perfect storm’ conditions as the bad news of more lockdowns seems inevitable, rats are breeding like crazy in quiet streets and closed commercial properties – the fear is they will come into homes looking for food when the cold hits.
Experts are warning people to be prepared during the looming winter months, citing how empty commercial buildings (said to have increased rat activity over the summer) could be a cause, as well as low food supplies, meaning the hungrier and bolder they become with a lack of humans around could encourage them into the warmth of homes for food sources.
The dry summer grounds and early winter freeze overs could prompt rats to pick the easiest option of entering homes, whether it be lofts or the inside of walls that are insulated and not always blocked off in some poorly maintained buildings.
Food for rats, Rathbone says, that are normally in abundance in city centres, will now be more scarce, since many villages, small towns, and cities became ghost towns during the height of the lockdown.
‘The issue currently is that local lockdowns are forcing commercial premises to close, these are natural habits for rats, who would have made home close to businesses with careless food waste habits, however these food sources are running out,’ she claims.
With an average of 6 to 12 litters per year, the disease-carriers have the potential for its population to grow enormously, unless people take the precautionary measures, such as blocking off holes, securing food sources, and keeping accessible surfaces and areas clean from waste and dirt.
‘We typically see a 50 per cent increase in reports of rat problems going into the winter months,’ she revealed. ‘But we are staffing up this year for even more, and from what we see it’s going to be a busy few months.’
A lot of the issue can be prevented by us. So, as long as people aren’t consistently careless and we take care of our surroundings, the probability of waking up beside a family of rats remains relatively low.
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