A PEST control specialist is advising people how to deal with rats in their area as calls to get rid of them increase.

Kane Wallace, at Wallace Pest Control in Burnley, is currently sewer-baiting voluntarily in Barrowford, Nelson and Burnley to prevent rats entering the sewage system, from where they can enter homes.

Mr Wallace was given permission by United Utilities to carry out the work as he became concerned about the number of complaints regarding the pests.

He said: “The biggest problem is the population of rats is increasing because we can’t do anything about it.

“Things like sewer-baiting are things United Utilities does that people are not aware of usually, so now that they cannot do it, it is causing problems.

“I am aware that pest control officers are not working so I got in touch with United Utilities and they gave us permission to carry out the work.”

Wallace Pest Control has had many calls over the last few weeks regarding rat sightings.

Mr Wallace said: “The main thing is to try and limit the waste going outside if the bin collection is delayed.

“We advise people to put food waste in their wheelie bins and then anything like card that cannot be put in there should be left out if there is no space.”

The pest control expert also warns against leaving bird food out for long periods of time.

He said: “We also have many calls from people with rats, who are also feeding birds.

“The bird food left out is ending up being eaten by the rats.

“Do not use food bowls for birds, if you want to feed them then put small amounts of seeds out and make sure you do not leave it out all night."