With all things going wrong this year, the visibility of rodents has increased, causing problems for home and business owners alike. Since fewer restaurants have been open these days, rodents have been forced to find new food courses, driving them to scavenge new areas. Even the CDC issued guidance on rodent control in order to help people keep rats and mice out of their homes and businesses.
Orkin, a well-known pest control service, ranked metropolitan regions "by the number of new rodent treatments performed from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020." New Orleans saw a rise of six additional treatments, making it number 21 on the list of 50 cities. With colder weather coming, the indoor activity levels of rodents will continue rising, since they seek shelter in warm places with food and water.
Since the U.S. population is spending more time at home this season, residents should pay close attention to things that may potentially attract rats and other rodents. According to Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist, "Rodents are experts at sniffing out food and shelter, and they're resilient in their ways to obtain both. Residential properties offer the ideal habitat for rodents, and once they've settled in, they're capable of reproducing rapidly and in large quantities." Rodents can cause severe structural damage by burrowing and chewing on a variety of things, especially pipes, wires, and gas lines.
Even though it has been debunked that rats were the cause of the Bubonic Plague, they are known to carry viruses, so preventing contact with them is always a good idea, especially during a pandemic. Thankfully, according to Orkin, rat infestations are preventable. Orkin recommends not leaving food out, avoiding clutter and excessive amounts of cardboard, and making sure that your lawn is well groomed. Make sure to check both the interior and exterior of your home for rodent droppings and possible entry points.