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Rat Plague in Sydney: Rodent Infestation Escalates as COVID-19 Cuts Down their Food Supply

People all over the world have been experiencing the same battle against an invisible foe – the novel Coronavirus disease of 2019, or commonly called COVID-19. The pandemic outbreak causes a global crisis and a severe tragedy that is quite large in scale affecting various aspects of life. Upon its’ emergence, a chaotic situation arises leading to a lot of uncertainty, the implications for public health, financial crises and even low food supply.

And with constraints in food sources, there’s a new norm in Sydney where rodents are coming out of hiding as lockdown pushes them to be bolder in search for food scraps.

Latest Situation relating to COVID-19 cases

As of now, the spreading of the disease can bring confusion and somewhat panic to the public. The Australian government strategically utilizes control measures to manage the outbreak and is continuously fighting to break the cycle of transmission while being fueled with the determination to suppress it completely.

As of 20th of April, 2020, according to the Australian Government Department of Health, there have been 6,619 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia. Overview of this report states that 2,963 confirmed cases out of the counted figure are detected from New South Wales. Meanwhile, the rest of the number is recorded across the different states or territories with their corresponding count as shown below:

Location: Confirmed Case (April 20, 2020 | 3:00 pm)
Northern Territory 27
Australian Capital Territory 104
Tasmania 197
South Australia 435
Western Australia 545
Queensland 1,019
Victoria 1,329
New South Wales 2,963
Total  Confirmed Cases 6,619

*Data acquired from 

However, our actions can be a great help in bringing the figure down. The idea of ‘flattening the curve’ requires collective action from the citizens. As such, the government implements policies such as social-distancing, restrictive travel, alongside with imposed lockdown measures. Plus, there is an “ever-increasing need” to keep everything around us clean as much as possible.

Failing to do so can also potentially be a contributing factor to a steep rise of rodent invasion – and this is a kind of fact Sydneysiders shouldn’t take for granted.

Rodents Overtaking Sydney in Desperate Search for Food 

Apparently, not only people are going through the ups and downs brought about by COVID-19. During the lockdown period, other than us, rodents are somewhat panicky in terms of food supply – bravely scurrying around the Sydney streets in search of scraps in daylight hours!

Sydney, being the most densely populated city in Australia, has long been tagged with rodent influx dating back in 1788 (probably) when the First Fleet hit the city’s coastal shores. Throughout the years of chilly weather, a huge construction boom, and relatively the economic growth of the city has put a surge on the rodent’s population.

“They’re more like humans than people think”. – says Mathew Crowther, Associate Professor for Wildlife Ecology at the University of Sydney

The pressure of the current situation, the stress, and even the isolation catches up on the safety of the people’s homes against rat infestation. The hunger (with the scarcity of food supply)  urges the rats to venture into public parks, restaurants and wrestle their way into your houses.  With the imposed lockdown, food castoffs become lesser making the rats look for their food scrapings elsewhere – instead of coming from their usual food spots, which are the trash cans and dumpsters outside food establishments.

According to Dr. Robert Corrigan, a famed urban rodentologist, survival is primal to rodents. Once they lose their established food sources, they will most likely fight over what’s left. Even to the extent of killing and actually eating their kind. That also includes moving in to grab a bite to your very own food supply wherein they can be quite bold even in following the scent of milk from a baby’s bottle.

“It is a wild animal. It is going to go forage around the house. And rats in the house is serious.” – says Dr.Corrigan

Looking for new food sources while driven with hunger, the rats could possibly drop by at your home anytime (regardless of them being normally nocturnal). There have been complaints against rat infestation before and many rodent pest cases have recently been declared to be doubled in number in response to the coronavirus lockdown.

Being deprived of the usual food supply from their customary sources had triggered the rise of an urban rodent battle. However, the high activity of the rats requires more than simple rat traps. Just as how we stepped-up the sanitizing and hand-washing, so does the need to call in for “essential service” from professional commercial pest control specialists!

Commercial Pest Control Sydney Service during the COVID-19 Crisis

Pest proofing is basically important and significantly necessary during the current pandemic outbreak. You can never be too sure when it comes to home hygiene. Not only these are nuisance pests that can wreak havoc and spoil your food stock, but they can also bring health risks; since just like any other pests, they are carriers of viruses.

World Health Organization (WHO) stated a report that COVID-19 is believed to be primarily transmitted by respiratory droplets; such as coughing, sneezing and closely breathing in contaminated air from infected individuals. The virus-laden droplets of moisture can also stay on surfaces that might be prone to contact through touch.

“If we can transmit it on or fingertips, then of course rats can transmit it on their feet, their fur and their tails” – says Dr. Corrigan

As of present, there is no solid evidence that rats can be infected with the coronavirus. But for Dr. Corrigan, there’s enough reason to worry about the possibility of transmission brought about by these pests. After all, one of their hiding grounds is the sewers.  With the heightened fear over public health safety, rats’ incontinence also contributes to the concern for the well-being of your beloved pets.  According to Clover Margaret Moore, the Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, recent cases of leptospirosis opens up an issue regarding the deaths of a handful of dogs.  Rats are now overrunning the local area with an extra string of issues to be troubled about. How should we take action? Monitor your surroundings, follow good practices of food waste management and never think twice in calling for professional help.

Got any problem with rodents? Or perhaps there are rat sightings in your home or commercial property? Hire Sydney’s most trusted and licensed pest exterminator, the Safe Pest Control. If you’re looking for someone reliable who responds with the best practices that can efficiently control rodent activity while taking the COVID-19 safety guidelines in high regard, then we are what you’ve been looking for! Prioritizing your safety and at the same time caring for our technicians’ well-being is both significant to our commitment to delivering satisfying results. Make the smart choice and talk to one of our rodent specialists today. Call us at 1300 119 085 or send your inquiries at