• Zulf Choudhary

Unintended Consequences

The Pandemic is having consequences we did not imagine. We have heard and seen pictures of animals starting to come out due to lack of humans and enjoy the fresh air! The main reason is that, with all the takeaways and restaurants or tourist places being closed, rate, mice and birds must eat. With humans being indoors and leaving no litter for them to scavenge, animals will seek wider places to visit, as latest stories have emerged.

See: Reports from the US said that in the French Quarter in New Orleans, USA had new swarms of visitors wandering its famous streets.

Humans around the world are changing their behaviours due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic and so are rats and mice.

In the UK, the National Pest Technicians Association warned this month that "the closure of schools, pubs, restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions and other public places to enforce social distancing will have unintended consequences".

'Masters of adaptation'

Hungry rats "can wander quite a distance and end up in a different neighbourhood completely that had no rats prior", Dr Corrigan told the BBC.

They are "formidable mammals" very good at sniffing out sources of food, and their powerful teeth can make short work of a barriers like doors, plastics, or fabrics.

"They're global, they're everywhere, and they didn't get to be completely global if they weren't very skilled at being masters of adaptation," he says.

Why rats are unwanted house guests

· Wandering, hungry rats can still wreak havoc, causing damage in homes and spreading disease.

· Rats are "officially associated with about 55 different pathogens", though there have been no reports of rats carrying Covid-19.

· They can also gnaw through wood and electrical wires - a danger for house fires.

· "It's an animal you just do not want to let it close to us and definitely want top let it get intimate with us in our own kitchens," he says.

How to keep rodents out of homes

1. One way to help is to rat- proof your home by sealing any areas - like cracks and holes near the foundation, or utilities and pipes - where rodents can get inside.

2. Indoors, make sure there are few places they can hide, and keep areas clear from clutter. Keep food in rodent-proof containers.

3. Make sure you do not leave food on the floor

4. Keep bin lids closed or empty.

5. Do not leave black bags in the yard.

6. Clean and pick up before you go to bed.

Remember, rats and mice are driven by smell of food, every crumb and bits of food dropped and not picked up will invite pests to your house.

1. Clean floors of food waste, especially kitchens

2. Clear up before sleep time

3. Contain black bags in domestic waste bins with tops closed

Or welcome to your new guests.

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