A NUMBER of schools in Dumbarton and the Vale have been infested with rats, mice, wasps and maggots, the Reporter can reveal.

A Freedom of Information request has shown West Dunbartonshire Council buildings have been treated for pests more than 230 times in two years. But the council claims they receive more than 1,500 service requests each year.

A total of 104 of the treated cases took place at a nursery or primary school, and one took place at a high school.

The council has spent more than £206,000 in two years tackling infestations – £101,528 in 2017/2018, and £105,446 in 2018/2019.


Rats were treated on 69 occasions, including at Knoxland, Renton, Braehead, Bonhill, Dalreoch, Gavinburn, Our Holy Redeemer, Goldenhill, and Clydemuir primaries, as well as Auchnecraig nursery.

In particular, pest teams were called to Gavinburn Primary to tackle rats on five separate occasions.

Elsewhere, Knoxland Primary School was treated for fleas. St Mary’s, Bank Street, Alexandria, was treated for wasps four times in two years and St Martin’s, Renton, was treated for wasps on five separate occasions.

Braehead, St Michael’s and Gartocharn primaries were all treated for mice. Christie Park Primary was treated for snails and slugs and Bonhill Primary was treated for slaters.

The pest control teams were also called to tackle maggots at the new £16m state-of-the-art Balloch School Campus – which opened with fanfare in June 2018.

Pest control teams have also purged rats from West Dunbartonshire Council estates in Mitchell Way, Alexandria, and Bowie Road, as well as West Dunbartonshire Council offices on Elm Road, and West Bridgend Homeless Persons Unit.

Teams visited Greenspace on Elm Road and Argyle Street to remove “unidentified insects”, rats and pigeons respectively.

The council’s new £15.4m flagship offices on Church Street, Dumbarton, which opened in May 2018, has called in pest control teams to remove seagulls on one occasion and pigeons four times.

In 2019, there were 117 cases, compared with 104 for the whole of 2018, and just eight in November and December of 2017.

A snapshot of the figures reveals 67 cases involved wasps, four involved moles, 27 cases involved ants, 18 involved seagulls and one case involved fleas.

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council said the figures were in the context of more than 1,500 service requests each year from a variety of sources.

In terms of the cost, a spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council said: “These figures do not relate solely to treatment of council buildings.

“This is the total cost of our service provision which includes staff, transport, materials, management and central support costs.

“These figures also do not take into account the income taken by the service.

“In 2017/18, the income was £73,964 therefore the net service cost was £27,564. In 2018/19, the income was £89,324 therefore the net service cost was £16,122.”