A horrified couple has slammed a council’s irregular bin collection for a RAT getting into their garden and climbing up their washing line.
Jean Campbell, 70, said she was sickened when she saw the rodent scurrying around her garden and eating from her bird feeder.
Her partner Archie Macintyre, 60, photographed the rat — which he thought was a squirrel at first.
Archie, a head chef from the Soroba area of Oban is blaming Argyll and Bute council’s three-weekly bin collections for a growing rat problem in the area.
He said: “We are horrified. They are going to have to nip it in the bud. There are a lot of kids about.
“That was the first time I have seen anything like it in Soroba.
“My wife let out a scream and I ran through to see what it was.
“At first, I thought it was a squirrel as it was going for the feeders on the clothesline. Then I realised it was a rat.
“When the bins went to three-weekly uplift, it was quite obvious this day was going to come.
“Everybody was saying that rats would appear. We have had the seagulls. It’s not on. There is rubbish pouring out of the bins at times.”
Argyll and Bute Council introduced three-weekly bin collections instead of fortnightly to Oban in November 2016.
Jean, who saw the rat on Sunday, said: “I feel physically sick. In 38 years in my home I have never seen as much as a mouse.
“This has only happened since the three-weekly collections came in. By the end of the second week the streets are littered with bags.”
Archie contacted the council’s environmental health team on Monday and was told that no officers were available to deal with his complaint.
He said he was told he required the pest control department and there would be a £78 call-out charge.
A spokeswoman for Argyll and Bute council said that they were advised that it was unlikely that there was an increased public health risk following the introduction of three-weekly collections.
A council spokeswoman said: “We sought public health advice from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) when we were considering the three-weekly model.
“We were advised that there should not be any increased risk to public health as long as existing commonsense standards are followed, such as wrapping waste and keeping the lids of bins firmly closed.
“We would ask residents to help us by taking these measures and to ensure that any food put out for wild animals is done so carefully, with any spillage from feeders being cleaned up.
“Discarded and leftover food may well attract rats. Anyone who has concerns about vermin should contact our pest control service.”