City schools plagued by vermin

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By Kirsty Topping

Schools in Edinburgh are so infested with rodents and insects that pest controllers are being called out every day.

The biggest problem in the city’s schools is mice, closely followed by ants and wasps.

Other infestations over the past three years include hide beetles, fleas, gulls, bees, squirrels, silverfish, snails, cockroaches and flies.

In total, extermination teams were called out 625 times over the three year period, equating to roughly one visit for every day of term.

The worst affected school was Tynecastle High which hosted pest control teams 44 times for a variety of problems including ants, wasps, mice, rats and fleas.

Holyrood High, which sits just a mile and a half from the Scottish Parliament, was also badly affected requiring 23 call-outs to deal with ants, mice and wasps.

Schools are expected to pay for the call-outs from their own budgets.

Tracy Rendall, chair of the parent council at Craigentinny Primary – which received 17 visits – said schools should be given extra money based on the unique challenges facing each one.

She said: “The council could help with budgets by allocating more money to deal with each school as an individual school.

“For example, if there are issues which arise because of the age of a building, or the location then money should be allocated which is relevant to those things.”

A council spokesman said: “As with any big buildings, especially the older ones, from time to time there are pest problems in schools.

“When these arise they are dealt with swiftly and appropriately.”

Top ten pest control call outs to Edinburgh schools:

Tynecastle High – 44 call-outs for ants, mice, wasps, rats and fleas

Holyrood High – 23 call-outs for ants, mice and wasps

Wester Hailes Education Centre – 20 call-outs for ants, wasps, mice, rats and gulls

Dalry Primary – 19 call-outs for ants, wasps, mice and rats

Craigentinny Primary – 17 call-outs for ants, mice and wasps

Gracemount Primary – 16 call-outs for ants, mice, rats and squirrels

James Gillespie’s High – 16 call-outs for ants, wasps and mice

Craigroyston Community High – 15 call-outs for ants, wasps and mice

Balgreen Primary – 15 call-outs for ants, wasps, mice and flies

Boroughmuir High – 14 call-outs for ants and mice

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