The rat explosion during lockdown - 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 rat explosion during lockdown

In Pests

At PEST UK we have seen a huge increase in rat infestations since the beginning of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) lockdown. More of our technicians are getting called out to treat an explosion of rat infestations. But why is this happening?

rat lockdown


The Lack of Pest Services

Usually, pest management companies throughout the UK control several thousands of rodents every week. As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, many pest control companies, including many local authorities, have decided to close or scale back operations. This means a multitude of rat infestations are remaining untreated, leading to an increase in the population of rats. With rodents breeding roughly every 4 weeks and reproducing at 6-8 weeks old, this number has been rising rapidly during the lockdown. 


The Closure of Premises

As well as disrupting pest control services, the coronavirus pandemic has led to the closure of many commercial premises. This includes bars, restaurants, pubs, and cafés. These are establishments that are likely to attract rats if left unmonitored. Because of the closures, many business owners have requested to postpone upcoming visits or even cancel their pest control contracts altogether. The absence of pest management in closed premises will only encourage infestations. Rats don’t abide by the rules of lockdown and will thrive in the inviting conditions of empty food establishments. 


The Build-up of Refuse

Finally, delayed bin collections as a result of limited services during the lockdown has provided an obvious source of food for rats. The build-up of rubbish outside domestic and commercial premises has not only attracted rodents but provided them with a substantial food supply. This has enabled them to breed, and keep their young alive and thriving.


What can I do if I have an infestation?

If you think you may have a rat infestation during lockdown or would like some advice contact us. Call us on 0330 100 2811 or email 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 possible. Rats are extremely destructive, can contaminate surfaces and food, and can also spread other diseases. It’s important for you and your customers’ 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 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 at for free local pest control advice or to book an appointment for pest control services near you.


PESTUK have offices in BracknellEdgwareSalisburySt AlbansStevenageSwindonThameWantageWare, and Watford.




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