RATS have infested a family home after being attracted by a build-up of rubbish on the streets, it has been claimed.
Jeanette Paton, who lives on Hay Gardens in Niddrie, said the rodents had eaten through her walls and ceiling – leaving her scared to go to sleep.
The 50-year-old said she had complained at least a dozen times to the city council and Castle Rock Edinvar, the housing association which owns and manages her house, but had received no help.
She became so frustrated with their inaction that she even brought three dead rats into the Castle Rock reception to prove she had a problem – causing the receptionist to run away screaming.
The grandmother said: “My house is starting to get eaten to bits. They are chewing through the walls. We can hear them all.”
Mrs Paton said she and her grown-up daughter had been forced to sleep in the living room after a rat chewed a hole in her bedroom ceiling and fell through the plaster.
She blamed the infestation on a build-up of black bin bags and litter in the surrounding estate, and insisted the council was not emptying the bins frequently enough.
And she said she had even rented a van twice in the last few weeks to take the rubbish away herself, in an attempt to tackle the problem.
She added: “There’s black bags piled up everywhere. My son and daughter don’t want to stay. My son has stopped [my grandchildren] coming, and I don’t want them here either. It’s just ridiculous. This has been going on since July.
“The first rat we caught was the first week in August. I’ve caught another two since.
“We’ve seen another two running about upstairs, but we can’t catch them as they are that quick.
“They come out during the day and that’s what’s really scary. It’s actually horrifying. I know I’m not the only one who has them – my neighbour caught one in his kitchen.”
As rats are naturally secretive, pest control experts warn that regular sightings could be a sign of a “full-blown infestation”.
A Castle Rock Edinvar spokesman said: “We are aware of concerns regarding environmental issues at Hay Gardens in Edinburgh, caused by discarded refuse to the rear of a property.
“The safety of our residents and their properties is of utmost importance, and we are working in tandem with our local authority partners to identify a rapid solution.”
But a council spokesman insisted they were “unaware of issues in the street which has the same collection system and frequency as other kerbside properties in the city”.
He added: “The council is always working to make improvements to our service and the new recycling arrangements actually provide an increased capacity for household waste.
“We do not take away excess bags, however if residents are having difficulty recycling then we are more than happy to pay them a visit and provide advice.”