Rats are looking to move indoors in the search for food and shelter from the cold. Photo: Joshua J Cotton

Oh, rats!

A pest control provider has seen a 50% increase in the number of rodent related callouts during the months leading up to winter, August – October 2022, when compared to the same period last year.

As a result, the company is warning home and business owners to be aware of the potential issues posed by rodents, as rats and mice are looking to move indoors in the search for food and shelter from the cold.

Dublin is the county that has accounted for the most callouts for rodents so far in 2022, accounting for 16% of all callouts this year. Cork (11%), Meath (9%), Galway (6%) and Wexford (5%) are the next counties most affected by these pests, said Rentokil this week.

The company said rodents can be a serious issue for home and business owners, as they can spread disease, damage property with their constant need to gnaw, contaminate food, and even create a fire risk by chewing on electrical cables.

Signs of a rodent infestation can include droppings which tend to be found in concentrated locations and scratching noises as rats and mice are agile climbers and experts at scurrying into small spaces. Rodents also leave running tracks and rub marks as they leave trails in dust with their feet and tails as well as dark smudges on both objects and surfaces.

Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant with Rentokil said: “As temperatures drop over the winter period, many rodents will look to move indoors in search of food and shelter. We would advise home and business owners to practice some simple steps which could help to protect their premises from rodent activity, such as carefully storing food, keeping their property tidy as well as sealing any cracks or holes in external walls.”