Home insurance companies have been quick to urge homeowners during the bad weather that they should protect their pipes from freezing, or their cars from crashing, but they have yet to tackle a more wriggly problem: rats.
Comparison website Confused.com is spreading the word that rats also pose a risk to household tranquillity, and the cold weather is driving them to look for warmer quarters, like people's homes.
Offering some suggestions of how to keep the rat from the door, Confused.com recommends sealing gaps and holes in the home, repairing broken drain covers, keeping external doors closed when possible, and ensuring rubbish and other waste is kept well contained in a secure dustbin.
For those homeowners who are unable to prevent an infestation, Confused.com offers them the reassurance that their home insurance company might be able to help. But, policies and cover vary from one provider to another so they should check the small print to see if it includes vermin.
Darren Black, head of Confused.com commented: "Recent weather is proving to be a struggle for rats that aren't fans of the extremely cold conditions. They want to share our home comforts and are seeking warmth inside.
"Homeowners need to take steps which will prevent rats gaining access to our homes as these pest guests are particularly unsavoury. With more rubbish around and continued cold conditions, a few simple steps will negate the risk of rats setting up home without an invite from the owner."
© Fair Investment Company Ltd