Love rats: London’s rodent population booms as lockdown silences urban areas
Quietened urban areas as a result of coronavirus restrictions have helped the population of rats boom by 30 million in one year.
There are now thought to be some 150 million rats in the UK -approximately 2.2 rats for every person. London is the city with the highest rat population, with nearly 20 million rats living in the capital, followed by Birmingham, where just 2.4 million rats call home.
Cardiff is the UK city boasting the fewest number of rats, with just 760,000 rats residing in the Welsh capital.
Rats typically have six litters of between six and 12 pups each year, with a group of rats appropriately called a “mischief”.
According to Pest.co.uk, a UK-based pest control company, rats have enjoyed a bumper year, making use of vacant buildings on quiet streets with poor waste practices. The number of rat infestations are up 25% on last year.
Pest.co.uk’s Jenny Rathbone said: “They say you are only ever 6ft away from a rat – and in typical 2020 fashion it’s now more likely than ever this year.
“We are seeing a huge increase in rat problems throughout the country as lockdown has really helped them breed.”