A plague of giant rats are invading city homes with some even sneaking in via the TOILET!

And rodent experts have warned the flea-ridden rodents are "bigger and braver" after lockdown.

Usually catching sight of a rat is a rarity - and yet city folk are spotting them in the broad day light.

Rat-catcher-in-chief Andrew Dellbridge has even had to take on extra staff to help him wage war on the filthy vermin.

Norwich Evening News: Andrew Dellbridge, Director of Ace Pest Control.Andrew Dellbridge, Director of Ace Pest Control. (Image: Ace Pest Control)

The Ace Pest Control boss added he had seen some rats "as big as cats".

And increasingly he is seeing shocked customers reporting the animals getting in up the loo.

He said: "I was called out to one job in Norwich and the customer could barely speak, she was in so much shock.

"She'd been using the bathroom and heard a noise. She looked down and it was in the toilet bowl. And this is happening more and more frequently."

He added that one couple in the city had been driven out of their home after rats took over.

Norwich Evening News: This rat was caught in a house in Norwich.This rat was caught in a house in Norwich. (Image: Ace Pest Control)

Rats are getting "bigger and braver", he added: "They used to work around us but now they're gaining access they wouldn't have attempted before.

"They're letting themselves into people's houses and businesses."

The areas of the city worst hit are Prince of Wales Road and Tombland, he added.

"Because of the throwaway culture we have the rubbish is just piling up and feeding them.

“The bins are overflowing and wild verges are also filling with rubbish," he said.

Usually winter is his busiest time of year but he has been non-stop throughout summer as well.

And moggies won't help: “A sensible cat doesn’t like a big rat and I'm seeing cats having a huge problem with fleas at the moment.

“So, you would still have rats, and fleas," he added.

A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said: "Try not to feed your pets outdoors, if you do, make sure you’re present when feeding them, and remove any remaining food afterwards.

"People that have seen rats near their property should avoid feeding wildlife as this is a food source for rodents too."

Norwich City Council has said that to avoid this problem we should “make sure your household wheelie and food waste bins are well kept, with the lids down and not raised due to being overfilled".

A spokesman added: “People that have seen rats near their property should avoid feeding wildlife as this is a food source for rodents too.”

What can you do to stop rats invading your home?

Ace Pest Control and Norwich City Council has offered their top tips:

  • The council said: "If you have a compost bin we recommend that you proof it at the bottom by standing it on a couple of layers of chicken wire, therefore stopping rodents using the location to shelter in
  • "Any trees, bushes and climbing plants should be kept cut back from property roof line in order to not create access routes into the property via the roof/attic."
  • Ace Pest Control added: "Bird feeders in the city are crucial to rat infestations. Keep it away from the house and take it down at night, move it around every week. Keep away from undergrowth.
  • "They can come up toilets so keep your toilet seat down and flush before you use the bathroom.
  • "Avoid self-treating. You need a large amount of poison to get rid of rats. Seek professional advice.
  • "Make sure windows and garage doors don’t have gaps or holes in them. Block them - if you can put two fingers under/in it then it's big enough for a rat to get in."