When you think of rats, you might think of them living in sewers, in ceiling voids, or in garbage bins. These places are mostly free of human activity and therefore they appeal to rats. But could you imagine a rat living by your office desk? The COVID-19 pandemic has affected humans all over the world, which you most likely have experienced yourself. Perhaps you were sent home to work, but in addition to the impact you and your fellow citizens have experienced, the pandemic also affected rat behavior. If you are wondering about whether or not a rat has been by your office desk, this blog post will help you figure out how to look for signs of rats and who to contact in your area.
Rats at working places?
Signs of rats have become reality in some working places during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. With people working from home, more rats began to appear in empty restaurants and office buildings all around the world.
During the Spring of 2020, most countries around the world decided to shut down for all social activity, and people were sent home to work. However, not everyone remembered to clear their desk for snacks and this proved to benefit rats. Rats can eat many different things and even a small amount of water or food waste can be enough. Once a rat has found a food source, it rarely leaves the area again. Leftovers and food waste were one of the reasons for the increasing number of reports on rodents in 2020.
Experts believe that the increasing number of reports on rodents may be a consequence of people working from home due to the global changes that the pandemic brought about. In England, people have encountered rats more frequently in 2020, as the number of reports on mice and rats has increased by more than 40%.
Rats adapt quickly to changing circumstances, which the COVID-19 situation exemplified. If rats are doing well, it is because they are eating well, so it is important to remove their food source in order to get rid of them. Nonetheless, not all rats have prospered in working places during the COVID-19 situation. Some instances of rats’ cannibal behavior have been seen in the US, as the rats were starving. Oftentimes rats will move into new areas and fight other rat colonies for food, but if they are really desperate, they will begin to eat each other.
3 signs of rats
It doesn’t matter whether you returned to the office after the COVID-19 outbreak or if you are still working from home, you should still lookout for signs of rats.
You should check these few points in order to spot signs of rats:
- Look for holes: Is the lid on the garbage bin pulled aside or is there a hole in the bin?
- Rat gnaw marks: Are there gnaw marks anywhere? Rats typically leave behind gnaw marks or marks from rat scratching.
- Odd smell: Is there an odd or unpleasant smell? Urine and feces from rats tend to smell like a mix of pigsty and sewer.
If you can say yes to one of the above-mentioned points, then you may possibly have discovered signs of rats. It might be difficult for regular people to spot the difference between signs of rats or mice.
What should you do, if it turns out that you have seen signs of rats? You have to contact a pest control company in order to make them take care of it.
- BBC. (2020, April 7). Coronavirus: Why more rats are being spotted during quarantine.
- Berlingske. (2020, May 29). Kommuner melder om rekordmange rotter.
- British Pest Control Association. (n.d.). Keeping pests at bay in Covid-19 pandemic.
- Clark, D. (2020, April 13). Starving, angry and cannibalistic: America’s rats are getting desperate amid coronavirus pandemic.
- King, S. (2020, October 12). Businesses need to prepare for a “perfect storm” of rat infestations this winter.
- McCulloch, A. (2020, July 9). Rats and mice add to ‘return-to-the-office’ challenges.
- Pest Management UK. (2020, August). Investing in intelligent traps.