A plague of giant rat-like creatures is terrorising a town in Germany and threatening to wreak destruction.

Media reports indicate the town of Halle in central Germany is under siege from hordes of rodents that have taken over in recent days.

It began when large numbers of the giant water rats emerged from the River Saale and started infesting the local community.

Residents fear their home town could soon be "overrun" said one. This may not be so far-fetched because coypu – the unwelcome creature in Halle, is infamous for breeding in high numbers quickly. One female coypu can become pregnant three times per year, giving birth to up to 13 offspring at a time.

They also are capable of demolishing large swathes of vegetation with their ravenous appetites, while their burrowing behaviour is also a cause for concern.

One concerned resident said: "We just couldn't believe it when the creatures turned up in the river.

"A few people thought they were cute but as soon as we discovered they were rats many people became frightened.

"At the minute their numbers seem to be under control but many of us are worried they'll end up multiplying like ordinary brown rats, so the town will be overrun."

Meanwhile in Sweden, a family hit the headlines for catching a giant rat in their kitchen.

Erik Korsas and his family had to buy extra large traps to catch the 40cm long rat, which had even scared off the family cat. Before being finally caught, "ratzilla" reportedly ate the contents of the family's fridge.

Let's hope the super-sized critters don't know the way to Britain.