A new study from the British Pest Control Association suggests leisure, retail and catering establishments should take measures to avoid destructive rat and mouse infestations.
Numbers of rats and mice have risen sharply during the lockdown. A COVID-19 impact study carried out by the BPCA revealed that 51% of pest controllers have reported a rise in rat activity and 41% have reported a rise in mouse activity
Helen Ainsworth, key account manager at BASF Professional and Speciality Solutions, said: “Shops, restaurants and leisure facilities are all at risk – rodents have taken advantage of the lockdown period and numbers are rising at unprecedented rates.”
BASF is advocating the use of Storm Ultra Secure, a single-feed rodenticide that can control even large infestations in 14 days.
Ms Ainsworth added: “It is vital that business owners and pest controllers reduce the rodent populations that have spiralled during lockdown. Storm Ultra Secure is a highly palatable rodenticide that in laboratory tests proved more appealing to some rats than nontoxic food alternatives. It is also a single feed bait and so can control even large infestations quickly.”
Rats carry disease and if allowed to thrive in buildings can multiply quickly with just one breeding pair escalating to 1,250 in just one year.
“Where possible, business owners should be looking for signs of rats such as droppings and gnaw marks,” said Ms Ainsworth.
“Rodents will seek harbourage in buildings that contain food and water, access doesn’t necessary have to be at ground level as rodents are agile climbers. Food and water should be denied and any gaps under doors, holes in brickwork or other access points should be blocked to reduce the risk of rodents accessing and breeding on the premises.”