Rodent behaviour could change as a result of the ongoing pandemic, according to one expert. (Unsplash)

Rodent behaviour in Victoria shifting in response to pandemic, says expert

With restaurants and bars closed, residents could see more mice outside of downtown

As people adjust their behaviour to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, species who survive on human waste face their own new reality.

With downtown restaurants, bars and kitchens closed, some rodents have begun exhibiting unusual behaviour, said Kurtis Brown, technical supervisor for Victoria Pest Control.

“All these rodent populations that have been developing – for decades in some cities – rely on garbage from restaurants, garbage from commercial buildings, garbage from tourists … and all the sudden that stable food supply has been taken away,” he said. “Rodents are fighting each other and killing each other … and rodents are showing up in places that don’t typically have rodents.”

Downtown Victoria mostly has a mouse problem, according to Brown, with rats typically found more in outlying areas. He said some of the older buildings downtown have “astronomical numbers” of mice, many now without food.

“Some rodent colonies are starving to death,” Brown said.

READ ALSO: Toboggan versus rat: Startling collision on Victoria road

He doesn’t want to cause a rodent panic – it’s not as if mice are organizing a great migration from the city into peoples’ homes, but Brown says he wouldn’t be surprised to see movement.

“People should anticipate a shift in rodent behaviour and that shift is more rodent pressure in areas that don’t typically have it,” he said, adding that he’s already seen an increase in the number of mouse calls to Victoria’s James Bay neighbourhood. He can’t say with certainty if that’s connected to downtown closures, but he does have tips for people who want to keep mice out of their homes.

“Sanitation is pest control,” Brown said. “Keep a clean and tidy kitchen space.”

Along with cleanliness and proper food storage, Brown advises locating and closing potential entry points.

“If they can’t get in that’s the most effective pest control there is,” he advised, with the additional, stomach-churning tidbit that mice can fit through six-millimetre spaces and rats through 12-millimetre spaces.

“Pest management is public health and while we’re focusing on all this stuff right now it becomes even more important, as we spend all this time indoors, that we’re not trading one disease for another.”

READ ALSO: What’s bugging you? Exterminator talks pests in Victoria



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tsolum River Restoration Society members keeping busy during COVID-19 times

Young fish can get stranded in the most unlikely of places

Police looking for witnesses to Courtenay bear spray assault

The incident took place Tuesday, May 26 at around 8:30 p.m.

2020 Hornby Island trade tokens of sentimental value only

The Hornby Island Token Project is in its third and final year,… Continue reading

Box containing hundreds of family photos found in Courtenay returned to rightful owner

Local media sources collaborate to solve family photos mystery

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP told of alleged assault in Courtenay hours after the fact

Police only made aware of possible attack through social media posts

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Most Read