Can you smell a rat?
If you thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, it just did. There are now twice as many rats as people in the UK. While you digest that unpleasant thought, don’t forget that although quieter urban areas and plentiful waste food during the Covid-19 outbreak have boosted the UK’s rat population, there’s still plenty you can do to keep these fast-breeding rodents at bay.
According to Pest Control company Pest.co.uk The population of rats in the UK has increased by 30 million in a year to 150 million. And its bad luck for people living in London, Birmingham and Leeds because those cities top the table of rat-friendly areas at a somewhat terrifying 19.9 million, 2.4 million and 1.7 million respectively.
Rats have up to six litters of between 6 and 12 babies each year and a large infestation can cause a huge amount of damage. At this time of year they are looking for warm places to nest for the winter and so you should act now to avoid inadvertently providing a comfy spot in or around your home for these pests to live – and breed.
Jenny Rathbone from Pest.co.uk has this advice for home owners, landlords and block managers:
Block up holes – Fill any gaps in brickwork, shed doors and any holes on external walls of your home including cellars and attics
Clear cupboards – Empty unused cupboards of bags, clothes, rags and keep them clean
Secure all food sources – Make sure food is not left out, tidy away any open food sources and keep worktops and floors clean of crumbs
Prepare traps – by leaving out rat traps you can pre-empt any future infestation, however it is better to bait with official rat poison than leaving food scraps out
Rats need food and shelter to breed, so any source of food should be carefully managed and monitored from bins to bird feeders and pet food that may be stored outside. Keeping bin and yard areas clean and tidy is key so if you spot any signs of vermin or are worried that your communal areas are not as clean as they should be, talk to your property manager before you discover you have a rat problem.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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