Businesses across UK cities need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario: a cold winter, empty commercial properties closed due to lockdown with dwindling food sources and rats looking for somewhere warm to call home.
Jenny Rathbone from pest control company Pest.co.uk said: “We are facing a challenging winter with potentially “perfect storm” conditions as the bad news of more lockdowns seems inevitable, rats are breeding like crazy in quiet streets and closed commercial properties – the fear is they will come into neighbouring business premises looking for food when the cold hits.”
Empty commercial buildings with dwindling food sources have been blamed for rats running riot in city centres during lockdown and the summer months. Usual sources of food are now drying up as shops and businesses are being forced to close due to local lockdown measures.
Hard ground caused by the dry summer and early cold snap is forcing families of rats to seek easier shelter, many reports coming from businesses of finding rats in voids, storerooms and quiet areas between walls and floors.
Ms Rathbone added: “The issue currently is that local lockdown is forcing commercial premises to close, these are natural habits for rats, who would have made home close to businesses with careless food waste practises however these food sources are running out – they are now looking further afield.”