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Plague of ‘brave’ rats crawling into UK homes through letterboxes and toilets

Rats are invading homes across the UK as call-outs to pest control companies rise to a six-year high.

Experts said the rodents are getting so brave they go scavenging for food in broad daylight and are crawling into people’s homes by scampering up the sewage pipes and in through the toilets.

According to Rentokil, call-outs for its services are up 22% with some people saying they have rats coming into their homes through their letterboxes.

Workers said 60% of the time the rodents they come face-to-face with don’t run off immediately and appear to not to be scared of humans.

A Rentokill spokesman said: “Data released today by Rentokil Pest Control shows a 22% increase in rat enquiries compared to the average over the past six years.

“Six-in-10 of the 121 technicians we asked said they believed the lockdown period from March-June had caused rodents to become more confident, with rats entering homes through toilets and letterboxes.

“Rats have also increasingly been seen in broad daylight, despite being nocturnal creatures.

“This suggests businesses generating less waste during the lockdown period in the first half of this year, combined with larger nest sizes, has forced rodents to search for food during the day.

“The increase in enquiries could be attributed in part to the mild winter experienced last year, which may have extended the rodent breeding season.

“This could also mean that a larger population of rats will be heading indoors as the weather cools, to search for food, water and safe harbourage.”