Christmas leftovers are helping to breed a plague of rats feasting on grub

Christmas leftovers are helping breed a plague of rats that are feasting in overflowing bins.

And an estimated 74% of the rodents are now resistant to many shop-bought poisons, experts are warning.

Jenny Rathbone, of said: "More and more people are seeing rats in the open, a sign that numbers are very high.

"Many are attacking domestic bins, and anyone being careless about their Christmas rubbish will pay the price."

This autumn and winter has already seen the rodent population soar by around 25% and lockdown meant empty offices, shops, restaurants and pubs became perfect breeding areas.

Cardboard and paper from presents also makes ideal nesting material for the creatures in colder weather.

Ms Rathbonae added: "The advice is really simple – do not leave any Christmas waste in the open or outside. Always try to use a secured bin."

Earlier in December UK homeowners were warned Christmas would be ruined by giant rats invading properties thanks to the second coronavirus lockdown.

Pest control firms were expecting the pesky rodents to make the most of all the excess rubbish left by people spending so much more time in their homes.

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The dirty critters are fattening themselves up ready to get under homeowners' feet this festive season.

Sam Devereux, of JG Pest Control, said: "The initial lockdown saw a huge increase in callouts for rats and I'm sure the figures will be similar for the second one. It was our busiest ever spring.

"So many people are working from home, they are just creating much more rubbish which is basically an open invitation for rats to come inside – especially as the winter temperatures plummet.

"It is allowing rats to fatten themselves up, they are feasting on people's misery and this is a trend we expect to continue right up to Christmas.

"Christmas is going to be hard enough this year and this is another roadblock some people are going to have to deal with."

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