EUGENE, Ore. -- Rat sightings are on the rise in Eugene. Many homeowners are seeing the rodents running through their yards or even worse, in their attics.
Eugene resident Virgil Lamb is no stranger to these rodents.
"The first issue we noticed with rats is we saw one scampering across the fence,” Lamb said.
In the past few months, he's found at least one in his traps nearly every other day. He said they’re easy to attract.
"All you need is a food source and water, and there's plenty of water here so the rats are pretty prolific," Lamb said.
Since January of this year, there’s been a 40% increase in rat sightings in Eugene. It's something pest technician Ronda Shifflett deals with daily.
"There's a lot of different reasons; there's a lot of movement with the fires that we had last year and COVID. We've had a lot of businesses that have shut down and that takes away from the rodents' normal food sources,” Shifflett said.
She also said composting plays a role in the increase.
Shifflett said now these rodents are looking for food in homes. In order for this increase to go down, she said people need to be educated and know how to secure their home.
"Go ahead and walk around your home, take a look at all vents, see if there are any rips or holes within the wire mesh that’s on those and you can go ahead and get those sealed up with steel wool,” Shifflett said.
She said it's also important to keep all the food in your pantry tightly sealed, especially dog food. Rats are attracted to chicken and bird feed as well.
Shifflett told KEZI what a lot of people don't recognize is that a small rodent like a mouse or a rat only needs a quarter of an inch to be able to squeeze into a space and call it home for the winter.
She also encourages you to get your house sprayed at least every other month.