RAT sightings across Glasgow have risen despite figures revealing an overall drop in vermin reports.

A Freedom of Information request revealed the amount of pigeons, rats, squirrels and mice has decreased overall since 2018. 

There was, however, an increase in the number of rats spotted outside of living areas from 4668 in 2019 to 6065 last year.

Rodents spotted indoors declined from 1502 to 1339, while reports of birds or pigeons had dropped from eight to three.

Glasgow Times:

The number of mice-related sightings dropped drastically from 4222 to 1276 and squirrels incidents also reduced from 15 to 12.

Following a binman being attacked by a rodent earlier this year, union GMB warned lockdown measures had resulted in an increase in the vermin population.

GMB Scotland organiser David Hume said: “The drop-off in reports is no surprise, given the population has been in various states of lockdown for over a year, but the story on the streets is another matter. 

“Glasgow’s waste crisis is understood and clearly illustrated. We’ve said time and again Glasgow needs levelling-up and the way to tackle the waste crisis is to invest in the refuse service. 

“The council continues to ignore these calls and is now telling the public to carry the can for their decision to cut budgets and services. There is no good news here.” 

Figures for this year are still in their infancy, however, data shows there were 1211 reports of rats outside the living area between January 1 to March 21 and a further 337 sightings indoors.

Glasgow City Council has received six reports about squirrels and 12 about mice. There have been no reports regarding birds or pigeons thus far.

The local authority has insisted it has not seen a spike in vermin reports since lockdown measures came in to force last year. 

Instead, its data revealed the rat population throughout the city was in decline. 

A spokesman for the council said: “Despite the impact of Covid-19 on our pest control service, we have continued to respond to requests for help from residents throughout lockdown where ever possible.

“We have detected changes in the behaviour of pests during lockdown as the widespread closures of pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops has meant they have looked elsewhere for a source of food.

“The number one most effective way to deal with vermin in the longer term is to cut off their access to sources of food.”

He added: “Ensuring food waste is properly contained within a suitable bin will deter any pests and force them to look elsewhere.

“Depending on the circumstances, pest control treatments may be required on a number of occasions to ensure effectiveness and our staff can also offer advice on what other measures may be needed to deal with any infestation.”