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Why Were So Many Rats Left During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

In mid-April, there were at least nearly 4,000 more new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Indonesia, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). As the number of new coronavirus cases in Indonesia has increased rapidly over the past two months, businesses and offices have been forced to temporarily shut down business activities for the public to cut off the virus infection chain amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

When most people self-quarantine at home, and many businesses decide to close their physical location to restrict people from gathering in public spaces, that doesn’t mean that rat pests are also doing the same thing as humans.

Rats have always been a real distraction for many businesses, and staying “operating” is normal; they are even more aggressive in feeding as long as there is no human activity around them.

Find out the reasons why so many rats left their nests and were more aggressive in looking for food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hungry rats


Rats are pests that can easily adapt and survive in a variety of different habitats. However, they would prefer to live near humans to make it easier to source food that would normally come from food scraps and waste disposed of by humans.

How long can rats stay hungry?

Although each type of ant has a different level of tolerance for resisting hunger, rats are actually able to live longer without water than they would without food. In general, rats cannot survive longer than two weeks without eating.

Why were so many rats at home during the COVID-19 pandemic?

When human behaviour changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it also apparently made it quite difficult for rats to find food sources. Rat colonies are now forced to leave their hideouts and increasingly aggressively seek out food that is no longer easy to find today.

Since there is no human activity in various shopping malls, office buildings, shops, or restaurants, there is no more human food that rats can eat. As a result, this hungry rat colony is forced to move from one place to another where there are still humans in their desperate search for food.

These hungry rats will wander around the neighbourhood  and invade homes for food, because that’s where there’s now human activity and scraps of food. So don’t be surprised if circumstances where there is usually no rat problem at home are now serious during the COVID-19 self-quarantine period at home.

At this time, it is highly recommended that you immediately contact a professional house mouse control company to be able to consult on how to repel the rampant rats in the house today.

Rats breed quickly


There are several types of pests that can breed or multiply rapidly, and rats are one of them.

Rats can breed quickly because they do not have mating seasons like most pests. This means they can occupy a home or building quickly if the population is left out of control.

The current situation in which many businesses have decided to cease all operational activities during the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly an appropriate time for rats to breed in empty buildings without being seen or impaired by human presence.

It is only necessary for a pair of rats to hide on the roof of a building to produce about ten mice. After a period of six months, rats can even produce approximately 50 new rats. Rats reach sexual maturity after 4-5 weeks, meaning a rat population can increase rapidly from 2 rats to around 1,250 in one year!

Rats are uninvited guests

It is certainly not without reason that rats are often referred to as “uninvited guests” by many people. How come? Closely related animals to garbage and excrement have a very bad impact on humans and buildings:

  1. Rats can cause serious diseases that are transmitted both directly and indirectly to humans.
  2. Rats can cause considerable structural damage to a building through their habit of building nests and gnawing at objects.

Rats as disease vectors

Although there have been no reports to date of rats carrying or causing COVID-19, rats are pests known to carry at least 55 different pathogenic bacteria or disease-causing microorganisms dispersed in their bodies, including:

  • E. coli
  • Leptospira spp.
  • Salmonella spp.

Rats are a source of disease, among which serious diseases can be transmitted through direct contact with saliva, urine, feces, and the bites of infected rats. The following are some of the infectious diseases carried by rats:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Hantavirus
  • Rat-bite fever (RBF)
  • Weil disease

Rats as destructive pests

When rats manage to get into a building, it’s not impossible if their destructive habits make you have to spend quite a lot on repair costs in the future.

In most cases found in the food processing industry, rats not only feed on and contaminate the raw materials of the food to be processed; more often than not, rats cause damage to the ready-to-ship food packaging.

On the other hand, rats can also cause serious problems by constantly biting through a lot of material in or around your home or business, such as wooden structures, pipes, and power cords. This is done by rats, whose teeth continue to grow throughout their lives.

Therefore, chewing or biting objects such as power cords would be very helpful for rats to keep their teeth from growing too large and sharp. But if this is allowed to happen, it is not impossible to face major building problems such as short circuits or fires.

Why is rats control important during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Pengendalian tikus rentokil di bisnis

During times of uncertainty, as they are today, rat control services have become critical, especially for businesses and commercial properties, in ensuring total protection from risks that may arise from rat attacks during normal business downtime.

Rats can spread harmful diseases to humans and potentially damage your building at the same time. By leaving the rat population out of control for a significant period of time during the self-quarantine period, you are sure to put your building and workers at risk when the business returns to normal operation.

There is always something good in every bad situation. Hungry rats will receive much more food than baited traps. So don’t miss the opportunity to repel rats forever from your property.

Contact Rentokil to immediately schedule a rat control service at your home or business, even during COVID-19 self-quarantine periods.

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