Edinburgh schools forced to call pest control to deal with rats, mice, squirrels and seagulls

Edinburgh schools forced to call pest control to deal with rats, mice, squirrels and seagulls


Council pest controllers have been called to Edinburgh schools over 850 times in the last two years, Edinburgh Live can reveal.

The new data, which comes from an FOI request, shows infestations of ants, rats, wasps and even fleas and bedbugs in Edinburgh educational establishments.

Edinburgh Council revealed data for each time they were called out to council nurseries, primary schools and secondary schools.

What came back was a list of 858 call outs to schools – 400 of those were for mice, 146 for wasps, 100 were for ants, 73 were rats, 42 were ‘other insects’, 46 were for pigeons, eight for ‘other wildlife’, seven call outs for lesser black backed gulls, four fleas and one case of bed bugs. There were also 10 callouts for squirrels.

The massive list includes 114 local schools including primary schools, high schools, academies nurseries, special schools and early years centres.

The dates of the visits to schools by pest controllers range from March 5 2018 to March 4 2020.

Leith Academy had the highest number of call outs for that period, with 30 between 29/06/2018 and 28/2/2020.

That includes 13 calls for mice, seven for pigeons, three for ants, four for ‘other insects’, two wasps and two for ‘lesser black backed gulls’.

The top five

The top five Edinburgh schools with the most pest callouts are:

1. Leith Academy, 30

2. Castlebrae High School and Portobello High School tie for second place with 27 call-outs each.

3. St John Vianney Primary School, 22

4. Liberton Primary School and Trinity Academy tie for fourth place with 19 each.

5. Gilmerton Primary School, 16

If you want to see how your local school did we have the full list of all 114 Edinburgh schools below.

“Edinburgh comes with mice”

Pest control expert Rebekah Carral of Edinburgh’s Barricade Pest control said schools were an attractive place for some pests.

She said: “I’m surprised that the numbers of rats are so low, and I’m surprised about bed bugs being there, but its only one.

“It no surprise that mice are the most common. Edinburgh comes with mice to be honest – and a lot of the schools are older buildings.”

In terms of which pests on the list would pose the most risk to children, Rebekah said: “It would probably be rats, but it depends on lots of different things – it depends where each of them are, and for example if it comes to wasps it depends if any on the children are allergic then, there’s a risk to life.

“If we’re talking about mice, they tend to be everywhere but what we don’t want is them coming into contact with food and contaminating things.”

Schools provide an attractive environment for rodents, she said, with plenty of entry points in older buildings, a steady supply of food and no people around at night.

“When it comes to rodents it’s about having a reliable food source, and lots of entry points – it would be really really difficult to try and block them out in a bigger building like a school,” Rebekah explained.

“Schools are just one of those places that would be appealing to rodents especially and with insects they come naturally some times there’s no way of preventing them – if a wasp decides it wants to build a nest there, then it will.”

The full list

The list of all 114 schools is laid out in the table below:

School name Number of callouts
Abbeyhill Primary 13
Balerno Community High School 10
Balgreen Nursery School 11
Balgreen Primary School 14
Blackhall Primary School 2
Boroughmuir High School 15
Broughton Primary School 14
Brunstane Primary School 9
Bruntsfield Primary School 10
Calderglen Nursery School 5
Cameron House Nursery School 1
Canal View Primary School 2
Carrick Knowe Primary School 5
Castlebrae High School 27
Childrens House Nursery School 8
Clermiston Primary School 8
Colinton Primary School 3
Corstorphine Primary School 6
Cowgate Under 5 Centre 6
Craigentinny Primary School 5
Craiglockhart Primary School 6
Cramond Primary School 5
Currie High School 12
Currie Primary School 2
Dalmeny Primary School 5
Dalry Primary School 7
Davidson Mains Primary School 1
Dean Park Primary School 6
Duddingston Primary School 3
East Craigs Primary School 4
Echline Primary School 3
Ferryhill Primary School 1
Firhill Day Centre 3
Flora Stevenson Primary School 15
Fort Early Years Centre 2
Fort Primary School 13
Fox Covert Primary School 9
Gaelic School 1
Gilmerton Primary School 16
Gorgie Mills School 5
Gracemount Primary School 7
Granton Primary School 7
Greengables Nursery School 2
Gylemuir Primary School 10
Hailesland Primary School 1
Hermitage Park Primary School 2
High School Yards (Steps) 1
Hillwood Primary School 2
Holy Cross RC Primary School 11
James Gillespie High School 4
Kaimes School 8
Kirkliston Nursery School 3
Kirkliston Primary School 2
Leith Primary School 9
Leith Academy 30
Leith Academy Clubhouse 1
Leith Primary School 4
Leith Walk Primary School 4
Liberton High School 13
Liberton Nursery School 4
Liberton Primary School 19
Lochrin Nursery School 2
Longstone Primary School 9
Lorne Primary School 10
Murrayburn Primary School 5
New Portobello High School 3
Newcraighall Primary School 5
Niddrie Mill Primary School 10
Oaklands Special School 2
Parkside Primary School 10
Parsons Green Primary School 5
Pentland Primary School 4
Pilrig Park School 4
Portobello High School 27
Preston Street Primary 1
Prestonfield Primary School 7
Prospect Bank School 5
Queensferry High School 6
Queensferry Primary School 10
Ratho Primary School 2
Redhall Grove Special School 1
Redhall Middle School 4
Roseburn Primary School 3
Royal Mile Primary School 4
Sciennes Primary School 4
Seaview Childrens Centre 1
Sighthill Primary School 4
South Morningside Primary 13
South Morningside Primary School Annexe 6
St Catherines Primary School 3
St Crispins Special School 10
St Cuthberts RC Primary School 8
St Francis Primary School 8
St John Vianney Primary School 22
St Johns Primary School 3
St John’s RC Primary School 3
St Katharines 8
St Leonards Nursery School 2
St Marks RC Primary School 9
St Marys RC Primary School 10
St Marys RC Primary School Leith 7
St Ninians RC Primary School 1
St Thomas Of Aquins RC High School 8
Stanwell Nursery School 3
Stenhouse Early Years Centre 6
Stenhouse Primary School 10
Stockbridge Primary School 8
The Royal High Primary School 8
The Spinney Lane Nursery School 2
Tollcross Primary School 11
Towerbank Primary School 13
Trinity Academy 19
Trinity Primary School 9
Tynecastle Nursery School 1
Victoria Primary School 12
Wardie Primary School 10





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