The simple answer is there aren’t more rats. They have just relocated to your house. Rats generally hide from humans and run around foraging for food found in the streets or the garbage outside your house. Their favorite locations though are restaurant dumpsters. These dumpsters are essentially all you can eat buffets for rats.
As restaurants closed and people practiced isolation with limited trips out to get to groceries or to go to work the buffet for rats ended. Rats are very intelligent creatures and they aren’t going to just starve to death since their favorite food location is closed. They will go out and find it and it currently is in your home.
Across the globe rats are migrating into homes to find new food sources. That wonderful smell that emanates from your kitchen when you are cooking smells just as wonderful to a rat as it does to you. Depending on their size they can squeeze through holes ranging from the size of a quarter all the way down to a dime.
Once they have snuck into your house, they will set up shop and can do quite a lot of damage. They can chew through walls and even wires causing structural damage as well as the possibility of house fires from the exposed wires they chewed through. On top of the damage to your home they also transfer diseases and other pests into your home.
While rats themselves were not the cause of the black plague they allowed infected fleas to hitch a ride on them and spread the disease that way. While transmission of COVID-19 through rats or their hitchhiking companions is thought to be extremely low they still can transmit other diseases. Their penchant for travelling through sewer pipes containing human waste means their feet are covered in waste which they then spread when they run through your home.
What are the best ways to keep your home free of rats?
- Make sure trash cans have tight fitting lids.
- Seal cracks and holes and other entry points from the outside.
- Don’t leave food lying around in your home.
- Call Hannan Environmental Services