Edinburgh's rat population is "out of control" with rodents gathering in gardens and building "burrow upon burrow," an exterminator has warned.
Rebekah Carrel, director of Barricade Pest Control Edinburgh, says her company has received a huge volume of calls since the lockdown was imposed.
She warned that her family business has never experienced an infestation of rats in the capital so severe.
The pest control service, which usually only serves Edinburgh postcodes, has been receiving complaints about rats as far out as Musselburgh.
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Rebekah told Edinburgh Live: "We are a family of pest controllers with three other companies.
"Never have we experienced this many rats in Edinburgh - there are burrows upon burrows.
"The other day a shocked client sent us a picture of six rats gathered in her garden beside a bird feeder."
The Pest Control company has been trying to deal with the increase in demand, while also adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Rebekah continued: "Customers are calling us daily saying rats ran through their garden.
"Without the hustle and bustle of people in the city, rats are plucking up the courage to travel further and further in search of food.
"Now we are covering everywhere from Cramond to Musselburgh."
While Rebekah has seen a definite increase in demand during the lockdown, she isn't 100 percent sure what has caused the increase in rats.
She said: "There has been a huge rodent issue in Edinburgh for some time, but now people are in the house all the time, feeding the birds to keep in contact with nature, buying more food, disposing of more food.
"With businesses closed and empty, the rats seem to be increasing."
Council Leader Adam McVey said: Whilst we have had to suspend glass and garden waste collections, our staff are still delivering kerbside and communal food, general waste and dry mixed recycling collections, as well as additional collections in communal areas without disruption.
"These services are being prioritised specifically to protect public health and reduce the likelihood of waste bins attracting vermin."
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