Rats are coming into our homes. (Photo: Jon Mills, WZZM, Jon Mills, WZZM)
DETROIT – Can it get any more 2020 than this?
Now, we have rats.
Nearly 1 in 4 Michigan households are reporting an increase in rats and mice since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to a survey by a pest-management company.
There are some reasons for this.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, acknowledging the nation’s pandemic-related rodent problem, points out that restaurants have reduced service, which means fewer food scraps are ending up in the dumpsters on which rats and mice often feed.
And, according to Smith’s Pest Management, a California service that commissioned the survey via Google Surveys, our houses are the perfect substitute.
We’re home more, which means we’re producing more garbage. Nationwide, 1 in 3 households report a notable increase in garbage accumulation, the Smith’s survey said.
We’re also cleaning less, with 1 in 4 households across the nation reporting they’re not cleaning as thoroughly as they did prior to the pandemic.
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Zachary Smith, president of Smith’s pest control service, offered this advice in a prepared statement: “If you have stored food products, make sure you keep the storage area clean and sanitized to prevent pest contamination. … Clean up spills immediately and make sure to stay up to date with the trash removal schedule, so you don’t have an overflow on your hands.”
In addition, the CDC recommends taking preventive actions to reduce your home’s attractiveness to rats. That includes sealing rodent-friendly entrance points to your home, removing debris and vegetation, keeping trash in tightly covered cans or bins and not leaving pet or bird food in the yard.
Other states have seen increases in rats and mice that top Michigan’s 24% increase.
Among those, Ohio households are experiencing a 32% increase in rats and mice. Mice and rats are up 35% in New York and 50% in South Dakota and New Hampshire.
Follow Georgea Kovanis on Twitter: @georgeakovanis.
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