Readers react to young Niddrie mum forced to live in rat-infested flat

Laura Mcqueenie in her rat-infested Niddrie flat.
Laura Mcqueenie in her rat-infested Niddrie flat.
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EDINBURGH Evening News readers have had their say on the story of a young Niddrie mum who has been forced to live in a rat-infested flat with four young children.

Laura McQueenie has slammed the city council for failing to deal with the rodent problem that plagues the home she shares with her sons aged eight, two and seven months and her 15-year-old niece.

The 27-year-old mum, who says she has been forced to put her university studies on hold because of the problem, said rats have been found dead in her kitchen sink and that droppings are regularly found all over the house.

She says her youngest child has even developed chest problems as a result.

Dozens of Evening News sympathised with Laura’s plight, but there were some who claim she isn’t doing enough to solve the issue on her own.

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Marlene St John Ayre said: “Not a good environment I’m sure so perhaps it’s best to concentrate in getting somewhere more suitable to live instead of having more children. Lots of families are in need and it’s always a problem.”

Caitlin Smart wrote: “As a mum of 5 I can’t help but think if I had rats in my house it would be my responsibility to deal with it, no offer of temporary accommodation. When exactly did everything become someone else’s problem. I also read this article with a great deal of scepticism, had to give up her social work studies due to stress of the rats, clearly social work is not the career for her if rats are stressing her out.”

Sandy Hendry blamed the tram project: “This lassie is selfish. Doesn’t she realise the council are very busy debating the tram project and devising new plans to turn Edinburgh into the biggest Disney park in Europe. Shame on them.”

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Lesley Watt said the problem was not unique to Niddrie: “City centre of Edinburgh had problems with mice when demolition works were happening in St Andrew Square and St James Centre. I worked in a shop in town and we had big problems with mice...”

Laine Gray said there were things Laura could be doing to prevent the issue: “I think it looks like she is trying to make the flat nice. There are things she can do like keeping bread etc in a bread bin and not leaving any food around for them to get to. Steel wool is a temporary solution. If they might be in her sons room, she needs to look all round it for tiny holes and block them.”

Beverley Wood revealed her family’s health has also been suffering: “Not just Niddrie.. Leith is bad.. My daughter has mice and has been 1 rat running bout while her and her sons r walking bout house. She has had Port of Leith out to fill holes. The little f*****s just eat through. My daughter has been refused move and her sons have bad asthma youngest one gets hospitalised because he is allergic to animal hair.”

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Kirsty Mcdaid sympathised: “My daughter has the same problem with mice and shes is in PSL temp accommodation, the flat is riddled with mice and damp and its now been 12 month and still waiting to be rehoused. Pest control is the best people to call as theyve kept it under control for a few weeks, to be fair the flats need knocked down as yrs old and crumbling.”

Sarah Jane Flynn added: “With all the construction in craigmillar and Greendykes and other surrounding areas. Everyone is having problems as the wildlife is being expelled from their environment they have to go somewhere. Anyway in Edinburgh you are never more than 10 ft away from a rat anyway. It’s a city wide problem especially when there is lots of construction happening.”

Paul Sloan tried to see the funny side: “Just tell the kids that the rats are hamsters. That way you can solve the rat problem and acquire family pets at the same time..”

Tommy Wilson wrote: “Get a cat. The mice will be gone in no time.”