Desperate residents in Glasgow have said they are “living in fear” of giant rats taking over their back gardens.
Cleaning workers last week blamed the introduction of three-weekly bin collections for the city’s rat problem, after filming a rat “the size of a cat” in Possilpark.
Now, Scotstoun residents Brenda Smith and Angela Gibson told STV News the problem has multiplied by “50 to 100 times”.
“You get the tiny ones and then you get the cat-like ones,” Ms Smith, who has lived on Earl Street for more than 20 years, said.
“The rats are constantly coming out, day and night, every minute, even when we sit out – which is impossible at the minute.
“Putting your bins out, you lift the lid and the rats are there. You scream, you run into the house.
“In the last month, I would say that it’s multiplied maybe 50 times, 100 times, the amount of rats coming in and out.”
When asked what the solution to the problem is, Ms Smith said the council must “get rid of the rats, get them away.”
Glasgow’s rat infestation has been a longstanding problem, however cleansing workers with trade union GMB last week said the issue had been exacerbated by three-weekly bin collections.
GMB cleansing convenor Chris Mitchell urged city council bosses to sit down with the union to discuss how best to tackle rat infestations in the “city once and for all”.
Mr Mitchell, who has worked with the cleansing service for 30 years, said the rat problem was getting worse and members had had enough.
“At some point someone is going to come into danger because of the impact the vermin have on public health,” he said, adding: “This is not a scare tactic, it is a fact.”
However, a spokeswoman for Glasgow Council insisted previously there had been no “specific request” to senior officers about a “perception of an increase in rats” – and insisted that reported incidents were “minimal” and that no “significant health and safety concerns” had been raised.
It comes despite a freedom of information request revealing earlier this month that almost 400 rat sightings were reported in Glasgow council offices and buildings alone over the last three years.
Mr Mitchell added: “They say every city has rats but as I have said before – not to the same extent as Glasgow. They are everywhere, in all different corners of the city. The situation is not getting any better and this cannot continue.
“Our members are getting sick of it. I have been in cleansing for 30 years, I came across rats back then too but not to the extent we are seeing now.”