If you’ve used the Underground lately you may have noticed a preponderance of London Underground rats. It seems as if rats are everywhere on the Underground. But why are they venturing out so often these days? There are a number of reasons as we will describe below.
COVID and the lockdown
As with most problems in the world right now, the reason is COVID-19. The lockdown and closure of businesses means that fewer people are using the Underground. This affects rats in several ways.
Because there are fewer people about, London Underground rats have become emboldened. There is no one to chase them off. So instead of hiding away as usual, they are beginning to show their faces more often. The rats are also starting to lose their fear of humans.
But the reason why this is happening is because they are desperate. As there are a smaller number of people using the Tube, there is also less food for them to scavenge. This means they have to go further afield in their search for food. Basically, the rats are coming out of their hiding places in a desperate attempt to find sustenance.
Lockdown restrictions on pest control
Another reason why you are seeing rats more often is because exterminators were shut down during lockdown. You see, when lockdown began pest control technicians were not allowed to operate. Even though this was only for the first few weeks, it still had catastrophic affects.
Without exterminators to control their numbers, the rats were given a chance to breed. This means their numbers have exploded exponentially. These effects are still being felt. This is the main reason why there are so many rats on the underground today.
You are also seeing more rats because they are fighting amongst themselves. As food is becoming more and more difficult to find rats are resorting to cannibalism. This means that weaker rats are being ousted from their usual living places. The London Underground rats you see are these weaker ones.
But why do London Underground rats enjoy living down there? The reason why is because the Tube network provides rats with a number of advantages. One of the biggest is food. As we’ve mentioned, the London Underground provides rats with an ample source of food. Every day, millions of people use the Tube, which means there is an enormous amount of waste left behind. The rats then go through these bins and feast on what is left behind.
Another advantage is that the Underground is warm. It provides a safe space for rats where they can keep warm and are protected from the elements. They do not have to deal with the wind and rain underground. It’s also dark. London Underground rats are nocturnal animals and do not like to go out during the day. They prefer to move in darkness and this makes the Underground a perfect habitat for them. It gives them a number of dark corners where they can hide and built their nests.
If you do see London Underground rats, it’s advised to keep your distance. These rats are desperate for food and this makes them aggressive. To avoid any possible problems, such as being bitten, you should stay far away. Also remember that rats carry dozens of diseases. The last thing you want is for a rat to bite you. If this happens there is a strong possibility that you could be infected with one of these diseases. If you have any real concerns about the possibility of rats infesting your property or business premises see our rat control in London page here.