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Arctic weather could lead to festive rat invasion

Returning to work in the New Year to an invasion of rats wouldn’t get the year off to a good start, but with temperatures dropping and rats looking for somewhere to keep warm, that’s what could happen if businesses don’t take precautions.

After a year of mild conditions, rat numbers will have increased and now a polar vortex from the Arctic is expected to send temperatures plummeting in the next few weeks. These icy conditions could lead to a huge rise in the number of unwanted visitors making business premises their home.

Businesses in the hospitality industry need to be particularly aware of the threat of rats as they are attracted to over-flowing dustbins, searching for sources of food. This could lead to them venturing into food preparation areas or dining rooms.

For businesses whose premises are going to be unoccupied over the festive period, now is the time to make sure potential entry points are blocked. Rats can get through gaps as small as 2cm, often using plumbing pipes and unscreened vents or gaps in the eaves and roof edges to enter a building. They are also known to chew on wood or electrical wires which in addition to being an expensive problem to fix, also poses a fire hazard.

It’s also important that you:

  • Remove any potential nesting sites by cutting back any overgrown areas and clearing away any piles of wood or debris from outside your premises
  • Ensure doors and windows are properly secured and that drain inspection covers are well maintained
  • Don’t leave any leftover food lying around until January, keep bins well maintained with their lids closed and dispose of rubbish carefully.

Following these simple tips before you head off to celebrate Christmas will prevent any unwanted rodents enjoying their own festive celebrations at your expense.