Lockdown has led to a 30 million increase in the UK rat population a pest control company has claimed.  

Due to lockdown where rats have enjoyed the tranquility of quiet urban areas with plenty of waste food, the rat population has grown to 150 million in 2020 - there is thought to be 2.2 rats for every person in the UK.  

UK pest control company Pest.co.uk reports the number of rats in the infestations they have been called to has grown by 25% in the past 12 months.  

Rats have enjoyed a bumper year of breeding during lockdown, making their nests in vacant buildings in quiet streets with poor waste practices.  

A group of rats are nicknamed a “mischief” giving a clue to the kind of chaos a large infestation can cause. Rats can typically have six litters per year, ranging between six and 12 pups meaning it’s no surprise the population is rising so rapidly.  

“They say you are never more than six feet away from a rat and in typical 2020 fashion it’s now more likely than ever this year,” said Jenny Rathbone from Pest.co.uk.  

READ MORE: Rats spotted on two of Marlow's streets

“We are seeing a huge increase in rat problems throughout the country as lockdown has really helped them breed in relative peace with closed shops and poor waste management providing them with plentiful food and shelter. 

Pest.co.uk is advising anyone living in urban areas to take proactive measures before winter really hits and rats try to find a warm home for the winter months.  

Royal Borough Observer:

Here’s how you can take measures 

  • 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.

READ MORE: People react after rats spotted on two of Marlow's streets

Jenny added: “The main thing to remember is rats need food and shelter to breed, so any food source should be quickly cleaned away – keeping yard areas clean and tidy is key to keeping rats under control.” 

Pest.co.uk is a Pest Control company which specialises in humane and organic Pest Control methods.