Edinburgh: the mouse problem


It’s just about that time of year when everyone starts to ask themselves two questions:

1) Who shall I live with next year?

2) Where shall I live?

Yes, there are plenty of cool places to choose from, whether you see yourself in Marchmont, New Town, Bruntsfield, Newington or one of the other many options, the choice is completely yours. But one thing that agencies and landlords reputedly fail to mention is the extensive mouse problem that most Edinburgh renters must endure.

A last resort DIY trap...

A last resort DIY trap…

If you’re in second year or above, this article won’t come as much of a surprise as you’ve no doubt become acquainted with, and probably named, your resident mouse (yes, we know, there is more than one, but naming him makes us fall under the false impression that there is only one…almost like our own, cost-free little pet). For those of you in first year, however, this piece is a warning for you. Perhaps you’d rather have remained ignorant of this fact, but I have to break it to you, if you don’t live with a mouse, then no doubt your best mate does.

Droppings! Ewwww!

Droppings on the sofa! Ewwww!

Don’t be alarmed though. Yes, it might be terrifying the first time when you come into the kitchen for a post-club binge at 3am and spot that little rodent scurrying across the floor. And yes, it might still be distressing when you spot him again at 8pm running in front of you as you chat loudly to your friends.

Look closely, these mice have even mastered camouflage!

Look closely, these mice have even mastered camouflage!

Aren’t they supposed to be scared of us? “ You will no doubt wonder. Yes, that’s the rumour, but it seems these days that these mice are quite used to human company and frankly, perhaps we need to get used to them too because it certainly doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere.  Calling your landlord or agency may help; some do feign an interest and others may be kind enough to send out pest control. In my experience, the words “Well, it is Edinburgh and these are old buildings, what do you expect?” ring loud and clear. Taking matters into your own hands is always an option, but who wants to remove a dead mouse from a trap? And who wants to discover that the disgusting smell in the cupboard is in fact a decaying, poisoned mouse? Not me.

I'd almost rather it were still running around...

I’d almost rather it were still running around…

Perhaps you will all be braver than I, but if not, I strongly suggest you try to see these mice as cute, furry friends…