ALERT: Huge increase in rats invading Irish homes and restaurants
There has been a 35% increase in rodent callouts between March and June 2021, when compared to the same period last year.
Rentokil believes that the closure of restaurants and resulting decreased levels of food waste in urban areas during the first half of the year has likely contributed to high callout levels, with rodents venturing further afield in search of food sources.
The top five counties which accounted for rodent callouts are Dublin (which accounted for 25% of callouts), Cork (14%), Galway (10%), Tipperary (6%), and Meath (5%).
As restrictions are lifted and businesses begin to reopen, Rentokil is urging business owners to be on the lookout for signs of rodent infestations on their premises. Business premises that have lain vacant for a long time period as a result of Covid-19 restrictions may be serving as areas of shelter for rodents, as they provide protection from the elements and predators.
The company believes that rodents are the top pests that businesses need to be aware of when returning to work. Rodents can cause significant damage to properties and assets. Rats and mice spend extended periods of time every day grinding down their teeth on surrounding objects, and as a result, they can chew through utility lines, electrical wires, support beams and other key infrastructure.
The presence of rodents in a business also poses a serious reputational risk, as well as a health risk due to the spread of diseases through their bodily fluids and excrement.
Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant for Rentokil said “As restrictions are lifted and businesses begin to gradually re-open, we would encourage owners and employees to be mindful of the presence of rodents on their premises. Rodents will likely have made homes in some of the buildings that lay vacant over the past few months, and as a result, we expect callout numbers to deal with the pests to remain at a high level.
"Signs to watch out for include rodent droppings, scratching noises, and footprints. If businesses believe they have a rodent problem, we would suggest utilising unmanned, digital solutions, prior to fully reopening.”
Businesses are advised to explore unmanned, non-toxic pest control solutions, such as PestConnect, a digital solution which provides 24 hour protection from rodents. Through a system of infrared sensors, it detects and then captures or humanely kills rodents using automatically deployed bait stations and traps.
Unmanned devices like PestConnect do not require human interaction. After installation, a technician will only visit when a rodent has been captured, reducing unnecessary visits to the site and enabling adherence to social distancing guidelines. The device sends updates and reports to users online.
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