ONE SIDE effect of Ireland's coronavirus lockdown is beginning to come to light, and it is as unexpected as it is gross.
Back in June, it was revealed that Dublin city was under attack from an influx of rats who emerged on the streets during the coronavirus pandemic-- because that was just what the country needed at that point.
And they were no ordinary rats either, with one Dublin City Council source telling The Irish Times that the rats being spotted were big enough to “put a saddle on”.
More than a month later and the sightings of the giant rats are becoming more and more common, and an advanced technical field consultant for Rentokil told Newstalk Breakfast why this might be.
Expert Richard Faulkner said that since the people of Ireland were "locked in and home-bound" we're noticing a lot more of the not-so-cute critters, admitting it's "becoming a real problem".
"Because we’re usually at work, there’s a lot more crossover in interaction between us and the rodents," he continued.
Because restaurants and chippers were closed for several months, the rats have lost a main source of their food thanks to the lack of waste in public bins and alleys behind the restaurants.
"When food becomes scarcer, their population becomes bigger-- they’re going to start outgrowing the food resource, they’re going to start foraging throughout the day.
"They’re going to start taking risks, and they’re going to become a lot more visible, especially in urban areas [where] drains and sewers are going to be the main place you'll find them".
He urged people to keep their doors and windows shut and move their outdoor bins as far away from the house as possible to stop the giant rodents from making themselves at home in your home.
Any gaps in the building should be examined and covered up if possible, and if you feed your pets outside any leftovers should be taken away immediately to stop rats from being enticed to approach the house and steal the food.
With some coronavirus measures being lifted, and thousands of people back to work in retaurants, cafés and hotels, the rat problem should return to normal in time.