Pubs are being urged to tighten up their waste disposal procedures as the threat of rat infestations increases.
Infestations from the furry rodents are running at a record high, accord-ing to latest research from the National Pest Technicians Association.
Among the risks that rats pose are the spread of diseases such as salmonella and toxoplasmosis.
Simon Taylor, managing director of waste processing provider Mil-tek, said: "Overflowing bins and waste problems are an open invitation to rats, which will travel up to half a mile to find food.
"The pub industry needs to say rats to rubbish by implementing a few simple steps to ensure that waste is properly secured before responsible disposal."
It is recommended that food waste is compacted before removal. This means that it is reduced to a fraction of its original volume and safely secured before being removed, eliminating the risk of infestations.
Pubs can also introduce compacting and recycling programmes for items such as cans, cardboard and plastic, cutting down on skip costs and preserving precious landfill space.
Simon added: "There are other benefits too in becoming more responsible for your waste: it helps the environment, saves you money and creates a much better working environment for staff."