A recent study from Smith’s Pest Management revealed 24% of Michigan households reported noticing more pests than usual living in their homes since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The study surveyed 3,160 homes across the country and found numbers similar to Michigan’s in several other states. Illinois matched Michigan with 24% reporting an increase in pests, while Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio reported 17%, 19% and 32%, respectively. The state with the highest number was South Dakota at 50%, 12 percentage points higher than second-place Alaska (38%).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been reports of increased rodent activity during this time. Possible explanations include the decreased public activity, social distancing measures and other restrictions in place for restaurants, cafés and food suppliers. Because of the limitations, there are fewer food scraps for the animals in public spaces, so they may have started moving into homes.
And in those homes, the pandemic lifestyle may also be conducive to pests. As people work and attend school from home and spend little time out and about, they generate more waste around the house.
The study found that 32% of respondents (11% in Michigan) said they noticed an increase in the amount of garbage they produced since lockdowns began. In addition, 26% admitted they have been cleaning their homes less thoroughly. These conditions also may be drawing pests to American households.