Even Nova Scotia Rats Have A COVID-19 Problem

Seal up your houses, Nova Scotia rats are looking for new sources of food. With COVID-19, the province’s restaurants, hotels and many other industries have had their businesses disrupted. This has resulted in much less garbage being left on the streets and in dumpsters, thereby removing the major food source for rats in the province and causing them to travel to find new food sources.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Abell Pest Control has seen a 200% increase in calls over last April in Nova Scotia. Abell serves the Halifax, Sydney, Truro and New Glasgow areas.

In a recent National Geographic article, Bobby Corrigan, a well-known rodentologist who specializes in urban rats, cited “as particular colonies of rats lose their established food sources — whether it’s litter and trash cans in parks, or dumpsters outside restaurants — they will start fighting over any food that’s left… Others will strike out into the unknown, looking for new food sources.”

Inspect the exterior of your home or business and seal up any cracks or holes. Clear your yard of clutter and debris where rats can hide. Inside, don’t attract rats by leaving food out on countertops. Keep a clean kitchen and store food tightly and securely.

“Rats can enter homes and buildings under door gaps, cracks in foundations or gaps around pipes. A determined rat can squeeze its way into an opening of only 1″ — that’s about the size of a quarter,” says Dusana Bondy, Quality Assurance Auditor at Abell Pest Control.

“The most important reason to keep rats outdoors is their disease-carrying ability. Pathogens such as salmonella and e. coli can be transmitted via rats and these are very dangerous for humans to be exposed to. As rats scurry around forced to find new food sources, home and business owners must know how to prevent them from getting inside,” says Bondy.

“For restaurant owners and other businesses, especially during times of closure when rats can move around unnoticed, it’s important to keep on top of your pest control,” added Bondy. “The last thing anybody wants to be dealing with during this pandemic is a rat infestation to add to an already stressful time.”

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