While the UK sizzled in this summer’s heatwave there was some speculation that the country would be plagued by rats as a result.
So is that the case? Does hot weather spell rat infestations? Not surprisingly a short spell of hot weather is not suddenly going to lead to a sudden, dramatic surge in the rat population.
The concern more specifically is related to rubbish and the greater incidence of food being thrown away as it goes off more quickly in the heat.
Rats, as it is well documented, are attracted to rubbish because it provides rich pickings for vermin scavenging for food.
As a result of the heat experienced this summer the speed at which food goes off has increased, particularly where fruit and vegetables are concerned.
Shorter shelf life for food encourages rats
So while rats may be having a field day tucking into discarded apples and carrots, which will ultimately strengthen them, they are also having to search for water.
In urban areas where food has become more plentiful it may well be that more accessible water supplies have dried up. So while conditions may be supporting the rat population on one hand they may also be hindering them on the other.
The summer months also traditionally sees rats heading outdoors into outbuildings and barns.
However, there is a suggestion that more rats have remained indoors, perhaps as a result of the heat, prompting reported pest problems to rise.
Rather than the rat population suddenly increasing in the heat it is more likely that they are staying put to enjoy the spoils of our leftover fruit and vegetables.
If you are concerned about a rat infestation during the hot weather due to extra food rubbish the best course of action is to make sure that all bins close properly and to be extra vigilant when disposing of food.
Also take care to store food securely and keep kitchen areas clean – any food leftovers, stacked crockery and cutlery or dirty water can attract numerous vermin.
For advice on how best to deal with a rat infestation or what to look out for get in touch with the Pest Busters team today.