Rat problem surges alongside COVID-19

When restaurants closed down and the rats realized their main source was going away, the little guys got resourceful.

Posted: Nov 23, 2020 6:39 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- There is a growing rat problem in Eugene and Springfield, and COVID-19 is partly to blame, according to Lee Womack, owner of Infinity Pest Solutions in Springfield.

"When you have all these restaurants that normally have full dumpsters of leftover food scraps -- it is a buffet for rodents," he said.

So when restaurants closed down and the rats realized their main source was going away, the little guys got resourceful..

"Then you have people with chicken coops and compost piles, well they start coming out to take advantage of those and it just grows from there because well they've found a food source," said Womack. 

One viewer from the Santa Clara neighborhood said he has caught 42 rats since mid-July. 

Rats have become such a problem after COVID-19 touched down here in America that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has even issued guidance for how to deal with them. For example they advise you take preventative measures like sealing points of entry into your home and taking pet and bird food out of your yard and say if you do find evidence a rat has been around, clean it up as it'll stop others from popping in.

"It's been no rats at all and now we're just inundated with rats," said Chris Peterman, who lives in Marcola. 

He said the problem has become volatile.

"I've bought like 10 rat traps because of it," he said. 

Peterman said it's not something he's bothered reaching out to the town of Marcola about.

Meanwhile, Lee said his customers tell him that when they've tried to reach out to Springfield and Eugene, they get little help.

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