Rat and mouse infestations rocket during lockdown

Rat infestations have soared during lockdown, according to Aviva Picture: Getty

Rat infestations have soared during lockdown, according to Aviva Picture: Getty - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Rat and mouse infestations have soared during lockdown, new figures show.

New data from Norwich-based insurer Aviva reveals call-outs for JG Pest Control, which provides a pest control service for its home emergency, increased by 120pc between March and June compared to the same period last year.

MORE - Wetherspoon pub criticised for failing to take customers’ detailsThe number of residential rodent cases for the first half of 2020 was equivalent to 90pc of comparable cases for the whole of 2019.

Sarah Applegate, Aviva’s head of global strategy and insights, said: “There are a number of possible reasons behind the rise of rodents.

“Reduced bin collections may have led to new food sources for pests at people’s homes.

“Similarly, rats and mice who were used to finding food near to pubs and restaurants may have had to look elsewhere while commercial outlets were closed.

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“Or there’s the chance that people may have just become more aware of mice and rats because they’ve been at home and have been able to spot them – when they might ordinarily have been at work or school.

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“Most home insurance policies do not cover rodent infestations as part of their standard terms. However there are specialist policies available and certain add-ons which provide cover.”

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The first sign mice have moved in may be finding their droppings, which are dark and around the size of a grain of rice.

You might spot chewed-up nesting materials such as carboard or hear scurring noises in the walls or under the floorboards.

To avoid problems in the frst place, ensure your property is secure and avoid leaving food scraps where mice can find it.

Rats are bigger and cause far more damage because their front teeth never stop growing. If they don’t keep gnawing they’re in pain.

They’re also greedier and carry higher health risks than mice such as Weil’s disease.

There may be no obvious entry points when you have rats, so experts may advise a drain survey.

Rats are also more likely to be found outdoors and can be seen travelling from garden to garden. They’re also attracted to litter, so it’s important to keep things tidy outdoors.

There are obvious DIY methods of tackling an outbreak of either or you could call in the professionals.

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