Increase in rat infestations caused by the COVID-19 epidemic
While people around the world are changing their day-to-day behaviour in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, the desertion of city centers and their office towers is causing ripple effects in the urban ecosystem. Among the most notable changes: rat infestations are on the rise.
In this article, E.Exterminateur’s pest management specialists explain why these rodents are taking over office and residential buildings in greater numbers when many people are working from home.
Why do rats invade downtown office buildings?
With the forced remote working of large numbers of office employees, many downtown buildings have literally been abandoned, making them more vulnerable to rat infestations.
The main reason is that many wastewater disposal systems (toilets, drains, etc.) are no longer used often enough and empty their water completely. Dry drains therefore become ideal entry points for rats, which can use them to colonize new spaces.
In addition, food is scarcer than usual for rats because of the desertion of urban areas. This can lead them to venture into new environments where they hope to find warmth and food.
Once an office building is overrun by a few rodents, the situation can degenerate very quickly, mainly due to the rodents’ very fast reproduction rate. Unfortunately, building officials will often contact a rat exterminator when the rats have already multiplied in numbers.
Decontaminating workspaces before employees return
Rat infestations are known to cause significant property damage. However, owners of office buildings should be aware that rats can also cause many human health problems. In fact, rat droppings contain many pathogens.
This is why, even when an exterminator has successfully driven the rats out of the building, it is essential to have a pest decontamination of the workspace done before welcoming employees back.
Residential rat infestations are also on the rise during the pandemic
Office buildings aren’t the only places that are invaded by rats in search of food. Houses, condos and apartments infested by these pests are also becoming more common than usual. Various factors may account for this increase.
First, many of the rats that used to occupy areas frequented by office workers migrate to residential areas, where they will find more food.
Also, some residential building owners neglected to maintain their homes during the crisis. Rotting, mold, clutter and other unsanitary conditions can lead to the presence of rodents and other pests. When the situation becomes out of control due to neglect, the landlord should not only use an extermination service, but also a mold removal service. In extreme cases, a hoarder cleaning service may even be necessary.
E.Exterminator helps you prepare for the post-COVID-19 crisis
Summing up, the current crisis is having a significant impact on the urban ecosystem and is forcing rats to explore new territories to find food. Simultaneously, the desertion of office buildings allows these pests to colonize these spaces formerly occupied by workers. Moreover, many landlords have neglected the maintenance of their dwellings, creating conditions conducive to rat infestations. This explains why rat exterminators are currently overwhelmed.
But the current crisis will one day be a thing of the past and the offices will fill up again. However, in order to safely accommodate workers, cleaning and decontamination strategies will have to be deployed before the doors officially reopen.
With this in mind, why not turn to E.Exterminateur’s rat extermination and decontamination specialists? For more than 15 years, our qualified and certified team has been providing high-quality services in several locations in Quebec, including Montreal.