A woman living in a van in San Diego with her pet rats has agreed to give them up – all 320 of them.

Authorities in the California city found rats had clawed into upholstery, burrowed into the seats and gnawed the engine wiring, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Danee Cook of the San Diego Humane Society said the woman was not hoarding the animals – she had started with just two pet rats.

But rats can give birth every four weeks and produce a dozen in a litter.

Ms Cook says the woman acknowledged things had got out of control.

Authorities collected about 320 rats, and more than 100 are currently ready for adoption.

The woman, meanwhile, has found a new place to stay.