Pests may have moved into buildings emptied by Covid-19, expert says

Rats, mice and flies will have moved into offices and other buildings left empty because of Covid-19, a pest controller has warned
Pests may have moved into buildings emptied by Covid-19, expert says
Richard Faulkner of Rentokil: “As well as lots of creepy crawlies in the empty buildings there could be mice and rats because they live in and around the buildings."

Rats, mice and flies will have moved into offices and other buildings left empty because of Covid-19, a pest controller has warned.

Rentokil believes that some of the buildings belonging to businesses that have shut down temporarily during the lock-down may be particularly susceptible to fly infestations.

The company's technical field consultant, Richard Faulkner, says the insects will be attracted to organic waste and pools of water.

Mr Faulkner says flies are one of the most dangerous pests in terms of spreading bacteria and disease and they are expected to multiply at an even faster rate during the warmer weather.

The top four counties with the highest number of fly call-outs so far this year are Dublin (25%), Kerry (22%), Galway (12%) and Cork (10%).

Empty buildings offer small creatures warmth and protection and there is likely to be a food source nearby.

“As well as lots of creepy crawlies in the empty buildings there could be mice and rats because they live in and around the buildings.

“If there is a gap larger than five millimetres a mouse can get in and they have a very small food requirement – about three grams a day and if it is moist enough they don't need any water.”

Mice only need three millilitres of water and house mice can find plenty of it on window sills, on pipes and around plug holes.

“People are also seeing the common rat out in daylight and in areas where they would not have noticed them before. So if we are less active nature can encroach upon us.”

Mr Faulkner said the number of calls to deal with rodent infestations has increased in recent years because the weather has been so mild.

“The weather has been really pleasant in recent weeks and I am enjoying seeing all of the birds coming into my garden but they are welcome visitors."

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