SIMSBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Pest control experts say the rat population in Connecticut is on the rise due to an unintended consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

During the pandemic, fewer people were leaving their homes, which meant rats had to be on the move to find food sources.

Rats typically eat food thrown away inside dumpsters and live in burrows surrounding the bins. When their food source dries up, they go elsewhere looking for another meal.

“Commercial properties are major grounds for feeding for a while until COVID pretty much shut down the restaurant industry,” said Neil Vayd, President of Green Pest Control.

At the Green Pest Control facility in Simsbury, the residential rodent calls went up at least 25% towards the later stages of the pandemic and the numbers are containing to climb.

Rats spread from the city to the suburbs during the pandemic, and now they are dug in and are continuing to reproduce.

“You are going to see activity right at about 10 o’clock at night, into the wee hours of the morning say 6 am,” Vayd said.

Experts say you should look for, chewed holes in trashcan lids and holes in the ground the size of a softball.

If you see a rat, you are advised to act immediately because the rodents reproduce so quickly. Rats will have litters of eight to 12 every two to three months. If there is a nutrient food source nearby, those numbers will increase.

Green Pest Control experts say as the rats spread out, they’re only going to become more prolific.