RATS have invaded houses close to a school in Bearsden.

Teams have been sent into several properties around Alva Gardens, near Baljaffray Primary, to trap and exterminate the vermin.

A search is on for the source of the outbreak - with locals suggesting the disease-infested rodents may have come from a broken sewer.

One woman, who lives near Alva Gardens and who asked not to be named, said: “There are several houses affected. One householder called in pest control when they thought they had mice. They were shocked to be told that droppings left in their homes were too big to be mice - and that they had rats instead.

“One house has had four rats trapped in it. It’s really disgusting, and I feel for those affected, especially if they have children. What a horrible thing to have to live with, knowing they are crawling about.

“It was one of the rat catchers himself who said that they may be coming from a broken sewer somewhere, but it’s not known exactly where.”

Another man who lives nearby said: “It’s a bit of a worry. They need to pin down the source of this outbreak soon, because you wouldn’t want them getting into the primary school which is very close by.”

Kenny Simpson, head of Housing and Community Services at East Dunbartonshire Council, said: ”Our pest control service has been called out to a property in Alva Gardens and to other properties in the surrounding area over the last few weeks.

“We can confirm that there is rat activity in the area but would not call it an infestation. We are working with individual homeowners to identify points of entry into their property and are also investigating where the rats are coming from.”