Increase in Pests During Lockdown
The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) has recently revealed that mouse and rat problems are on the increase (by up to 40 percent) thanks to COVID-19. It’s not just rodents that are making an appearance either. Other pests are starting to be more noticeable thanks to lockdown.
Why Is There an Increase in Pest Control Callouts?
There are multiple explanations for the increase in pest control callouts from both domestic and commercial properties.
Empty Commercial Buildings
The Coronavirus lockdown triggered by governments all over the world has meant that non-critical businesses and services have had to close to limit the spread of the virus. Even those businesses classed as essential are likely to have reduced numbers of staff and only essential workers on site.
What this has meant is a whole host of buildings lying empty, or with significantly reduced human presence. Normally for a limited period of time, this would not be an issue. However what this extended lockdown means is that the usual hotspots for rodents and insects, like the rear of restaurants and bars are no longer a source of food for these pests.
Sometimes, travelling further afield is the only option, meaning an increase in the number of pests making an appearance near our homes. This issue will be increasingly prevalent if you live on the outskirts of a city, or within city limits.
We’re More Aware Of What’s Around As
With the majority of the UK population on furlough leave, or working from home, we’re increasingly aware of what’s around us whilst at home.
Working families in particular only spend a small portion of their day in the home during normal circumstances. However, due to lockdown they’re now at home almost 24/7. With this comes increased awareness of what’s around and the issues that the property may have been facing all along, but under the radar.
With many of us taking this time to spend it out in the garden, wasp nests that may not have posed an issue before, but now we’re aware of it more than ever.
What Pests Should I Be Looking Out For?
As usual, any sign of pests should be investigated immediately to prevent any further issue of infestation. However, there are some common pests which may become more prevalent during lockdown.
Both rats and mice rely on a steady stream of food waste from commercial buildings to keep themselves alive. But with the reduction of food waste being produced, there’s a chance that even more rodents will come and pay your home a visit.
For many reasons, rats are incredibly hazardous and unhygienic. Here are just a few issues they may cause if they end up in your home:
- Damage to fixtures and fittings: rodents are renowned for their tremendous gnawing, whether it be through wood, rubber or even metal.
- Contamination: just like any other animal, rodents defecate and urinate wherever they please. These bodily fluids can be incredibly harmful and unhygienic.
- Damage to food: You’ll soon know if you have a rodent problem with food packaging being gnawed through.
- Transmissions of diseases: Unfortunately, rodents can transmit a number of different diseases. These include Salmonellosis, Leptospirosis, Toxoplasmosis, Lyme disease, plus more!
In a similar quest for food as rodents, you may notice more flies attracted to your home as commercial kitchens and food distributors are stopping work.
The risk from flies, despite seemingly harmless, can be serious.
- Bacteria spread: Flies can spread bacteria incredibly quickly on to food sources. They feed on faecal matter before moving to food carrying all kinds of microorganisms along for the ride.
- Food contamination: Building on the point above, when flies land on food, they often regurgitate digestive juices which can contaminate food.
- Disease carriers: Flies carry many microorganisms that cause disease in humans, including Salmonella, cholera, E.Coli, parasitic worms and more.
Many birds that exist in city centres will be flying to more suburban locations to feed off of food waste. Birds such as seagulls and pigeons in particular.
Whilst a bird simply swooping down, picking up some bread and leaving is not necessarily harmful, if they decide to nest, you could be in a heap of bother:
- Bird foul: not particularly dangerous, but nonetheless, incredibly unpleasant. Birds often foul around areas of nesting/roosting and can turn a pretty garden into a bird’s personal bathroom.
- Physical damage: If a bird ends up nesting on your property, you could be looking at hundreds of pounds in repairs; they can dislodge roof tiles, cause roof flooding, insulation damage in roof spaces and damage to the guttering.
- Spread of insects and parasites: Like flies and rodents, birds can carry a host of parasites and diseases that can make anybody’s life unpleasant. Including but not limited to: ticks, fleas, lice, mites, beetles, moths and diseases like Salmonella, E. coli, Chlamydia psittaci.
What To Do If You Spot Signs Of Pests?
The good news is, Confirm A Kill continue to operate as an essential service throughout the Coronavirus outbreak. Our team will be attending call-outs throughout Nottinghamshire.
If you spot any signs of the pests listed above, it’s important that you give us a call. It’s ill-advised to try and deal with any of the pests alone, and you should leave it to the professionals. Trying DIY methods could result in injury, and in a UK-wide effort to alleviate pressure from the NHS, it’s important you do not attempt home remedies.
We are able to provide guidance over the phone for your pest problem, and only attend the property when pest removal is necessary. When attending your property our team will wear the correct, industry-standard PPE at all times. We also ensure contact-free removal for your peace of mind.
Get in touch with us today.