The link between stockpiling and pests - PEST UK

Providing pest control services in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Leicestershire, London, Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Peterborough, Surrey, West Midlands, West Sussex, Wiltshire. Est. 1985.

The link between stockpiling and pests

In Pests

At PESTUK, we’ve seen a surge of rat treatment requests over the last few weeks. Newspapers have reported a rise in the rodent population due to increased hoarding of food, coupled with delayed bin collections. Pest infestations are on the increase. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) panic buying and stockpiling of supermarket goods could be the reason why.

Many people are acting on instinct, buying groceries in multitude amongst the coronavirus panic. Despite any suggestion of limited supplies in the coming months, many are imitating their peers and panic-buying. This type of hoarding behaviour could lead the UK to a huge pest problem.

Why? The more food you stockpile = the more food there is to attract pests.

The hoarding of food also creates problems for storage. Many people using garages, sheds or spare rooms to store excess food. These areas are not designed for food storage and may be easily accessible to pests. Similarly, food kept in bags and cardboard boxes, rather than in air-tight containers, are less secure. They are more accessible to pests and are likely to attract various insects and rodents.

Some pests, such as rats, cockroaches, and houseflies, are known to spread bacteria. They contaminate surfaces or food they touch. If they have access to your stockpile, they could be contaminating your food. Rats, in particular, are a significant health hazard. Rats are known to carry Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease) which, like coronavirus, can be transmitted from animals to humans. 

Read our previous blog on if pests can spread coronavirus here.


What can I do if I have an infestation?

If you think you may have an infestation or would like some advice contact us. Call us on 0330 100 2811 or email us at While we don’t know for certain at this time whether pests can carry the COVID-19 virus, it is important to deal with infestations as soon as feasibly possible. Pests do carry other diseases that can pass onto humans so it’s important for your health to prevent infestations where possible. 

We offer a fogging disinfectant service for customers who are worried about the cleanliness of their home or commercial property during the ongoing pandemic. 


This article is not a replacement for the guidance given by medical professionals, nor official advice provided by the UK Government on COVID-19. Find more information on coronavirus at the following sources:



PESTUK are full members of the BPCA, 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.

Call us on 0330 100 2811 or email us at for free local pest control advice or to book an appointment for pest control services near you.


PESTUK also have offices in BracknellEdgwareSalisburySt AlbansStevenageSwindonThameWantageWare, and Watford.




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