• PGM & SON Pest Control

Increase of Pests? Hereford Pest Control Investigates!


With the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) this week reporting a surge in pest activity in the Covid-19 lockdown, this week we’re looking at the effects of stockpiling.

Over half of all pest controllers polled reported an increase in rat activity and 41% increase in mice activity.

The BPCA reported that “We’ve had reports of rats and mice infesting empty buildings and it seems their lifestyle patterns are changing”.

This surge in rodent activity is consistent with the calls and enquiries we’ve been receiving at PGM & Son Pest Control.

So what’s causing this increase in rodent activity?

There are a number of factors which can be attributed to this rise in pest activity but this week we’re looking at the issue of stockpiling.

The continued restrictions imposed on the general public by the Government due to the Covid-19 pandemic are having a knock-on effect on many other areas of life and pest control is no different.

One of the effects of the Covid-19 restrictions is the ability to continue normal household shopping routines. Although the Government and Supermarket chains have confirmed there is no issue with food supplies, the fact is there is a continued distribution issue which may explain why some people are stockpiling food stuffs.

People self-isolating may not be able to easily access food supplies, and this could be one reason for purchasing more than is needed.

For those who are well enough to venture to their local supermarket, they may feel anxious about the restrictive measures in place or find the additional time needed to carry out a weekly shop can be stressful and so they too may buy more than is required to avoid the need to go out as regularly as they would normally.

Delivery and click and collect services continue to be in short supply. Although more slots are become available priority, rightly, is given to vulnerable individuals. Where people can get a slot, they may buy more than they usually would as there is no certainty about when they might next get a delivery or collection.

For some people, it continues to be a concern about the ongoing availability of essential items such as flour, eggs, pasta and even toilet roll! This is why we have seen shelves in these aisles emptier than usual.

It is clear that people’s shopping behaviours and patterns are adjusting to the changes in normal lifestyles and although there has been much talk about easing restrictions of late, the Government has indicated there will be no immediate lift to the lock down. If restrictions do ease at some point, the Government has also made clear that life will be unlikely to return to normal for many, many months to come.

What does all this have to do with pests?

As restrictions continue and people purchase more than is necessary for one or more of the reasons explained above, this “stockpiling” can lead to issues with pests.

We’ve had some lovely weather recently which has been great for sitting in the garden or enjoying a daily exercise activity but the hot weather can create additional problems for those stockpiling foods, particularly perishable goods.

The National Pest Technicians Association (NPTA) has warned households about the public health and pest control dangers posed by stockpiling and hoarding during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Good housekeeping is more vital than ever.

They key issues to bear in mind are:

  • Stockpiling means that there is more food to attracts rats and mice

  • Hot weather can make food go off more quickly, particularly perishable goods, meaning more waste. Rodents aren’t fussy about the freshness of their food!

  • More food waste means more refuse to store at home. Bins are often overflowing before the refuse collectors are able to take it away

  • Overflowing bins provide a great opportunity for rodents to access food sources. Other animals such as cats and foxes can also scavenge for food and they often leave food stuffs and wrappers strewn across floor surfaces which will attract rodents

  • When the bins are full, people pile bags next to them. This provides great cover to attract rodents which often won’t be spotted at the bottom of the pile

  • Householders are storing foods in different areas because of restricted space in normal storage spaces. For example, they may use conservatories, outbuildings and garages to store fo