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How Is the Quarantine Affecting Rats, Flies, and Bed Bugs?

This quarantine is really having an effect on everyone. We have had virtual birthdays, drive-by graduations, and restaurants that normally didn’t do takeout are suddenly doing curb-side delivery. Who knows what kind of long-term effect this will have on all of us. But we do know that we aren’t the only ones having a hard time. Pests don’t know what to do with themselves. Their food sources are changing, the people they rely on for some of their basic needs for survivals are staying home instead, and they are not handling it well. We decided to get an expert perspective on all of it.

We sat down with BCE entomologist, Hope Bowman, to discuss what the Covid-19-related quarantine is doing to pests. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: Are there any updates to what we already spoke about when it comes to rats’ behavior during this quarantine?.

A: Right now, our states are beginning to open up – starting with outdoor dining at restaurants. Burrows and nests that may not have been noticed when dining was inside may become more apparent now. Rats can travel 100 or more feet from their nest, so rats that enter an outdoor dining area may not be originating from your restaurant’s property. It’s important that neighbors work together to address rats collectively.

Q: Flies have also been seen in larger numbers because of the trash that’s accumulating in more condensed areas. Anything new with that?

A: With the increased business to restaurants as they start to reopen, more trash will be produced, which is exactly what flies need to survive. Keeping trash in sealed containers and cleaning up spillage immediately will help keep flies and other pests at bay. It’s also important to keep trash cans and trash bins washed out since flies can breed in even a small amount of spillage left after the trash is removed.

Q: Ok. So, we have an update on rats and flies. Let’s talk about bed bugs. We have been hearing that they’re extra hungry right now. Can you tell us about that?

A: The hotel and hospitality industry has certainly taken a hit during this pandemic with less business and vacation travel. Bed bugs normally feed about once a week, and while they can survive for longer without our blood for food, if a new person enters a hotel room, they will seize the opportunity. With rooms that have been vacant for weeks or months, their last meal was quite a long time ago.

Q: Thanks for all that info, Hope! One last thing. Is this quarantine negatively affecting any other pest situations? And if the answer is yes – is there anything we can do about it?

A: During the quarantine, people have spent more time outside than in recent years and with that comes an increased exposure to pests such as ticks and mosquitoes. I have certainly noticed that with my dog in our backyard! In addition, the first types of social meetings post-quarantine have been backyard picnics where families and friends social distance outside. Therefore, reducing mosquitoes and ticks will help you enjoy this additional time outdoors. Of course, we can help with that.

We want to thank Hope for sitting down with us. We know she is super busy on a normal day, but with the changes to pests’ regular habits, she is busier than ever. After hearing all this, the best thing you can do is call Waltham Pest Services. Benefit from the Board Certified entomologists we have on staff – like Hope – who can figure out your pest issues. It doesn’t matter if the pests are acting strangely. She will follow the clues and find the solution. Give us a call today.

Get rid of bugs fast.

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