Rats, and other members of the rodent family, have a lousy reputation. They crop up regularly in our everyday language to describe bleak situations and sentiments (Rats!, caught in a rat race, someone with rat-like features — you get the drift). Much-maligned, they’re often associated with the plague — somewhat apposite given our current predicament. They seem to be omnipresent in the best of times, but now, they’re having a, er, field day. The Boomtown Rats They’re certainly more visible than in pre-pandemic times, but nothing to panic about — yet In London and other major cities across the UK, rat sightings have soared during the pandemic. The British Pest Control Association (BPCA), which represents 700 vermin catchers across the country, said its members reported a 51% hike in rodent activity during the first lockdown last spring, and a 78% increase in November after the next lockdown. Typically, rats avoid humans and make drains and sewers their homes. However, as a result of shuttered businesses and deserted high streets, the creatures are out in full force and making restaurants, pubs and empty buildings their new habitat as they look for other sources to satisfy their dietary needs. “It seems their… Read full this story
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