“It’s absolutely going to get worse over the next few weeks and months – especially with so much rain.
“Rats need to drink a lot of water every day so they thrive in wet conditions like we’re seeing at present.
“Not only are there increased numbers of rats – the beasts are also much, much bigger this year due to phenomenal amounts of food waste and less frequent bin collections.
“Fortnightly collections mean rubbish is left out in the street which provides a ready food supply for rats.
“These super rats can be over 20 inches long from head to tail – that’s about the same size as the average domestic cat.
100 rats in the ceiling
These giant rats enter our homes through underground sewer systems when the weather turns colder.
Here, they eat human faeces and the flesh of other dead rats – but there’s not enough to go round, forcing the beasts to invade homes.
Pest controller Peter explains: “You’ve only got to have a small gap in your sewer system and they then crawl up through the toilet. So it’s a big, big problem.
“Just last week we were called to a house in London which had 100 rats living in the ceiling.
“The couple living there have had to leave with their three young kids while we take the ceiling down. It’s awful.”
Peter explains that anyone with plastic drains is at risk – as rats can chew threw them in minutes.
Because they spend so much time in filth, rats pose a threat to human health.
Chris Davis, Technical Manager of Cleankill Pest Control in London, said: “Usually they come from the sewers, so obviously there’s a potential to carry disease – Weil’s disease is the big one.
“It is a very nasty illness that causes jaundice and sickness. We have to be very careful and protect against it when we work in drains and things like that.
“Potentially it can be fatal, and it’s a very debilitating jaundice.”