Rentokil has warned the rise in residential enquiries could be the tip of the iceberg with many commercial facilities currently unoccupied and that some rodent activity may go undetected.
The company said that residential rodent enquiries reached record levels for the months of March and April, according to data released.
Rodent enquiries traditionally decline as the weather warms up, however, enquiry data covering the first two months of the lockdown period (March – April) reveal enquiries are 45% above the six-year average.
Paul Blackhurst, head of Technical Academy at Rentokil Pest Control, said: “Unoccupied office buildings across the country could be providing rodents with an opportunity to breed undisturbed.
“This, combined with the fact that fewer rodents will have died off in this winter, which was the warmest European winter on record, means that populations could multiply very quickly. Rats have a gestation period of 21-23 days and will have between five and 10 pups per litter.”
Mr Blackhurst added: “The rise in rodent activity in people’s homes could be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the total rodent population. It is advisable that commercial premises take proactive measures to prevent pests from taking up residence in their facilities whilst they are unoccupied.”