Why Are Mice Being Spotted More During the COVID19 Lockdown

Rodent Sightings Increase Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

Many communities across Canada and the United States have imposed lockdown orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments have requested or required that citizens stay at home as much as possible to slow the rate of infection. As human beings have changed their behaviours, animals have adapted theirs in response. In particular, increased sightings of rodent pests in city streets and smaller communities have alarmed residents. As a result, there is a greater call for mice control in Niagara.

How Have the Rodents Responded?

Ordinarily, rats and mice are nocturnal creatures. However, with cities under lockdown, there have been more sightings of rodents during the day in deserted streets and parks. Rats and mice have become bolder in entering people’s homes, with residents reporting sightings in areas not known for rodent activity. People have also reported rats especially becoming more aggressive with one another, openly fighting in brutal duels.

Why Are Rodents Behaving This Way?

Rats and mice are opportunistic feeders. They will eat almost anything that is readily available. In big cities especially, they have come to rely on the daily smorgasbord offered by restaurant dumpsters and overflowing trash cans in areas that see a lot of foot traffic.

Because of community lockdowns in response to COVID-19, many restaurants are closed or only offering take-out service and foot traffic has been severely diminished. As a result, the food sources that rats and mice typically rely on are no longer available. With an audacity born of desperation, the rodents are now seeking alternative food sources in order to survive.

Fortunately for the rodents, nature has equipped them well for this task. If their regular food sources are not available, they can travel long distances to find the sustenance they require. Both rats and mice have extremely sensitive olfactory senses. When they smell even a tiny portion of food, they follow their noses to the source. Unfortunately for homeowners, this may lead them into residential buildings. Rats and mice can also squeeze into smaller openings than many homeowners realize in order to gain entry. If they find a hole that isn’t big enough, they have sharp front teeth made especially for gnawing. If they think they will be rewarded with food at the end, they can work tirelessly at making a small opening bigger. 

Rats and mice usually live in relative harmony among groups of their respective species. However, food scarcity can cause them to prey on one another, singling out the weakest members of the group for sacrifice. That may be the cause of the reported increased aggression among rodents sighted in public.

What Can You Do About the Problem?

It is best to prevent rodents from entering your home in the first place, if possible. You should inspect the exterior for any small openings that could allow access, including cracks under the door. When you take the garbage out, you should put it in containers that have tight-fitting lids or it could draw the rodents to your home. You should also store food in airtight containers and keep kitchen counters clean and clear. You may have a head start on that because you are probably alreay cleaning and disinfecting them daily in response to the novel coronavirus.

If you already have rodents in your home, that is a different matter. You should know that, because rats and mice are starving and desperate, they are more likely to get caught in a trap as they are trying to take the bait.

However, mice control needn’t be a do-it-yourself task. Infestation by rodents and other pests isn’t just annoying, it is also a public health hazard. Therefore, pest control companies like Truly Nolen are considered essential businesses. Contact us to help you deal with rodent infestation on your Niagara property.