MRH has had to close a service station in Essex for a week while an infestation of rats was wiped out.

Staff at the site at Herongate, near Brentwood, discovered rats had got into the sales building, said MRH company secretary David Hathaway.

“Like any responsible employer we shut down, got the pest control people in, and got the problem sorted,” he added.

There were few signs of the rodents, but they had started to nibble electric cables so some repairs had to be carried out and some minor building work was required where it was believed the rats were getting into the building.

Hathaway said the building was closed for slightly longer than needed for the pest control because, as some electrical work had been pending, they took the opportunity to bring it forward and have it completed at the same time.

He said the pest control contractors had traced the rats to neighbouring land and the owners there had been informed.