'Confident' rats on the increase in Lancaster district as Covid-19 sees number of people on streets drop

Lancaster City Council's pest control team has seen a rise in the number of complaints about rats around the district.

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 10:37 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 10:38 am
Lancaster City Council's pest control team.

It is believed the government-enforced lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic may have led to rats becoming braver about moving into residential areas.

And the council is now asking residents to help keep rats and other pests away by following their advice.

A council spokesman said: "Unfortunately our pest control service is seeing an increase in rat complaints. This may be due to there being fewer people around, giving rats confidence to come closer to residential areas and to be more active during the day.

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"We are still providing a pest control service but only where essential, and this is decided on a case-by-case basis."

You can help keep the pests out while you’re on lockdown by following these top tips:

• Fill any gaps around pipes such as the waste pipe under your sink; even the smallest gap can allow rodents into your property.

• Compost bins can be a warm comfortable environment for rats. Place your compost bin on hard standing or on a strong mesh and make sure the door fits correctly.

• Bird feeding is best carried out in purpose- made feeders with catch-trays underneath to prevent spillage. Hang the bird-feeder so that rats can’t climb on to it. If any feed does end up on the ground make sure it’s cleaned up before sunset.

• If you keep animals such as rabbits or chickens in your garden, store their food in steel bins and only give them enough food for one sitting. Remove any surplus food before sunset.

• Overgrown gardens provide good cover for rats to move around; rats don’t generally like to be out in the open.

• Rats can enter your property via broken drains or broken air bricks, so carry out any repairs needed.

• Decking provides great homes for rats so where possible make sure litter doesn’t accumulate underneath and check for signs of digging.

• In the next few weeks you may see bumblebees entering your property; don’t worry they won’t do any harm or damage and will only be there a couple of months.

• Prevent flea infestation by making sure your pets are up to date with treatment.

If you need any information or advice check our website Lancaster.gov.uk/pest-control, or contact us on 01524 582935 or [email protected]