Schools call in the exterminators for vermin 625 times

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PEST exterminators have been called out to schools in Edinburgh 625 times in the past year to deal with infestations including mice, ants and even squirrels.

Statistics reveal that the old Tynecastle High School was the most troublesome for pests – visited 44 times due to problems with ants, mice, wasps, rats and fleas.

Other badly affected schools include Dalry Primary School, which was forced to call out exterminators 13 times to get rid of mice, Holyrood High School, which called for help with ants 14 times, and Gracemount Primary, which had a recurring problem with squirrels.

Other problems listed included issues with wasps, pigeons, fleas, gulls, snails and cockroaches.

One Edinburgh company estimated that it would cost the city council 50 per call-out, bringing the total amount of money dedicated to ridding schools of vermin to approximately 31,250.

A city council spokesman said: "Hygiene standards in our schools are very high and where emerging problems are found we take swift action to have them removed before they get established."

Hermitage Park Primary School has suffered from a pigeon problem, forcing them to call pest control out three times. Granton Primary School has seen an issue with seagulls and fleas, and Prestonfield Primary School had to get rid of snails.

Andy Burns, director of Total Pest Solutions, on South Bridge, said that pest issues in general have heavily increased across Edinburgh in the past six months.

He said: "Due to the bin strikes, cold weather and tram works, which have affected the sewers, there has been a problem with mice and rats in particular. The disruption to the city makes an ideal home for vermin."

Labour ward councillor Donald Wilson highlighted that although the figure for Tynecastle High School was large, there were special circumstances because of building work on the new school.

He said: "It has been an unusual situation at Tynecastle because they have recently been building the new school. During works you would expect an increase of pests as things get unearthed and moved around. We have had a couple of complaints from residents around that area.

"Now that building works are over we don't think this pest problem will continue. The age of the old building also probably contributed to the mouse issue."

The figures were obtained by the Labour party which highlighted a huge number of call-outs across Scotland.

Edinburgh Central Labour MSP Sarah Boyack said the figures raised questions over the general state of schools.

She said: "It is simply unacceptable that schools and nurseries are infested with mice, rats, cockroaches and other vermin. This is particularly concerning because of the potential health risk."


Tynecastle High School: 44 call-outs, including 31 for mice, 7 for ants, 3 for fleas

Holyrood High School: 23 call-outs, including 14 for ants and 6 for wasps

Wester Hailes Education Centre: 20 call-outs, including 12 for ants and 2 for seagulls

Dalry Primary School: 19 call-outs, including 13 for mice

Craigentinny Primary School: 17 call-outs, including 8 for mice

James Gillespie's High School: 16 call-outs, including 12 for mice

Gracemount Primary School: 16 call-outs, including 6 for mice and 5 for squirrels

Balgreen Primary School: 15 call-outs, including 8 for ants and one for flies

Craigroyston Community High School: 15 call-outs, including 10 for mice

Boroughmuir High School: 14 call-outs, including 10 for mice

Hermitage Park Primary School: 13 call-outs, including 5 for ants and 3 for pigeons

Leith Primary School: 11 call-outs, all for mice

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