The 2020 Coronavirus lock-downs have had many different effects. One unanticipated consequence is an increase in rodent activity. What is the connection between rodents and Covid lock-downs?
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has linked the increase in rats and mice specifically to the closing of restaurants. Through the years, rats and mice have relied heavily on food and waste thrown out by restaurants as one of their primary food sources.
During the lock-downs, restaurants have drastically decreased or even stopped food service and production. Suffice it to say, rats and mice have experienced a significant deprivation of the food and waste they had been relying on for so long–especially in denser urban areas and suburban localities near shopping centers.
Driven by hunger, rodents have started searching for other sources of food: our homes. Since restaurants are reducing their food service, more and more people have begun to cook and handle food at home. This makes residential homes especially ideal targets for hungry rodents. A recent survey found that 1 in 4 Michigan households have reported new rodent cases, a statewide increase of about 24% over the previous year. (Other states are also experiencing increases in rodent cases; New York, Ohio and South Dakota have all reported increases of over 32%).
Our homes seem like an ideal environment for the rats and mice who have become starved and aggressive. The food production in homes has increased while cleaning and waste management have dwindled in some cases. Considering also pandemic hoarding behaviors in certain homes, it’s safe to say that our kitchen cabinets and home storage have become the perfect new food sources for rats and mice.
Ways to prevent rodent populations in your home during COVID 19
So how do you avoid a rat or mouse infestation during the lock-downs? Not only do rodents carry diseases, they have also become much more aggressive due to food shortage. Lock-downs are stressful enough without having to deal with these very undesirable roommates!
The CDC has several recommendations for making sure your home is not among the 1 in 4 of Michigan homes struggling with rats and mice during the pandemic.
First of all, be sure to store food properly: in containers or bags sealed tightly. Be aware of the perishable foods you have in your pantry–especially grains and sweet things, and keep an eye on expiration dates.
Keeping the home clean and free of rubbish is important in preventing rodents from making a home out of yours. Making sure that trash is taken out regularly and tightly sealed or closed is also vital.
Finally, if you do begin to notice signs of rats or mice in your home, don’t hesitate; take action!
Set out mouse traps, monitoring them regularly for rodent activity. If you are noticing rodent activity in your home, do not hesitate to call Creature Control at 800-441-1519 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org