PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – As restaurants and bars are less busy due to the pandemic, not as much food and rubbish is being thrown into dumpsters. Without their usual food sources, pest control experts say the rodents go to the suburbs to find food.
Pest control expert Dan Martin says 2020 was busy for his pest control company, Budget Pest Control, in Ross Township. He says people who live in the suburbs call him because they see rats and mice in their yards or basements, many for the first time.
“One of the main sources of food for rats is mainly dumpsters outside of restaurants and bars,” said Martin.
He added, “Due to the COVID-19 shutdown, most of these dumpsters weren’t very full.”
Martin said rodents wouldn’t mind leaving places like the Strip District and downtown to forage for food.
“You can and will travel a lot,” he told KDKA’s Lisa Washington. “They are scavengers, they are always looking for another source of food, and because their normal food source is not available, they have traveled to the residential areas and gone to people’s homes much more frequently than before. ”
Martin says his team used a combination of bait, rat, and mouse traps to get rid of the rodents. There are things you can do to keep them away too.
He explained: “First of all, outside of your home, make sure that all trash cans are tightly closed so that neither rats nor mice are fed. Check your home too – all the different openings, your doors, your windows. “
And it’s not just homeowners who see rats and other rodents in their homes. Downtown commercial spaces, which are now less occupied because more people work from home, are also seeing an increase in rodents.