Starving Rats Forced to Move Out of Town Centres by Covid Lockdown

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Starving Rats Forced to Move Out of Town Centres by Covid Lockdown

Jul 22 in Pests

PESTUK technician Grzegorz Michalik has seen a 20% increase in call-outs to get rid of rats in people’s homes and gardens during the last 12-months. He covers Oxford, Banbury, Buckingham, Daventry, Northampton, Bicester, and Brackley.

Why has there been an increase in the UK rat population?

In 2020 the UK rat population grew by 25% to 150 million. Due to lockdown, they had undisturbed access to plentiful food. In addition, there were empty buildings for them to make their nests and breed. As restaurants and pubs remained closed there was less food for the rats in town centres. At the same time, their numbers continued to increase. Consequently, the rats began to starve and were forced to move out of town centres to look for alternative food sources. Rats are now a bigger problem in residential areas outside town centres.

Why do you need to get rid of rats in your home?

An infestation of rats in your home is a serious problem. Rats chew electrical wires and spread disease they carry on their feet, fur and tails from sewers and waste.

To protect your home from rats

If rats are starving and smell food in your home they will do whatever it takes to gain access.


                    • Outdoor waste bins must have secure, tight-fitting lids.
                    • Rats can squeeze through a gap that’s half an inch high so gaps under external doors must be sealed.
                    • Gaps in the brickwork and holes in the external walls must be blocked up.
                    • Food should not be left out and worktops and floors must be kept free of crumbs.



PESTUK have the tools and skills to eradicate rats quickly and efficiently. For more information on how we get rid of rats please click here.

If you would like advice on how to get rid of rats, call us on 0800 026 0308 or email us at


Woking pest control

PESTUK are a full member of the BPCA (British Pest Control Association), the governing body for pest control in the UK. Using a BPCA member company ensures you have a qualified, fully insured company treating your pest problem. Therefore, with PESTUK you have peace of mind knowing you are dealing with a professional pest control service.

PESTUK have offices in Bracknell, Edgware, Salisbury, St Albans, Stevenage, Swindon, Thame, Wantage, Ware, Watford, and Woking.

For an updated list of prices for all PESTUK services, please click here.


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