Lack of waste in cities is bringing rats to our homes

The lack of rubbish in city centres has contributed to an increase in rat sightings near our homes, according to the British Pest Control Association.

The association said a decrease in food waste in city centres due to less people has led to rats having to roam further afield to find sources of food.

Natalie Bungay, Technical Officer for the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) said: “A food source is one of the most important things for them to be able to survive.

“If we take that away from where they would normally find it they’re going to have to start searching elsewhere. That’s going to bring them out into the open a bit more and we’re going to start noticing them more.”

A poll of BPCA workers found that 51% report having seen an increase in rats since the beginning of lockdown.

With restaurants being closed and many councils asking residents not to use bins, the main source of waste is found in our homes.

Ms Bungay said spending more time in our homes means we create more food waste as well as being more likely to notice rats.

Pest Controllers are key workers, and have advised anyone who sees a rat near their home to report it immediately.

Ms Bungay said: “Rats are top of that list in terms of public health and diseases they carry.

“If they were to come into your home and make contact with surfaces they would create a public health risk just from their movement.”