The Netherlands could soon be experiencing an unprecedented plague of rodents

The Netherlands could soon be experiencing an unprecedented plague of rodents

Due to a new governmental policy banning farmers and citizens from using chemical pesticides, the Netherlands could face an unprecedented plague of rats and mice in a few years’ time, according to the Dutch Pest & Wildlife Expertise Centre (KAD).

No more rat poison

Rat and mice poison will no longer be allowed to be used freely from 2023. The Dutch Board for the Authorisation of Plant Protection Products and Biocides (Ctgb) has deemed that it harms bird of prey, with a spokesperson explaining that they are simply implementing European regulation. Spreading poison outside is already banned, but from 2023 even using poison pellets indoors will not be allowed.

If you have a rodent problem, you’ll still be allowed to use traps, but only professionals will be allowed to work with poison. “This will be a much bigger calamity than the oak processionary caterpillar […] unfortunately, people will only realise it when they see rats and mice running over the street”, says KAD director Bastiaan Meerburg.

Increasing rodent populations in the Netherlands

According to pest controller Rentokil, the populations of rats and mice in the Netherlands are growing. The poison situation is not the only thing contributing to this, “It is also due to the mild winters. And the fact that people eat on the street more often and drop bits of food doesn’t help”, a manager at the company expresses.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Stefana 12:21 | 15 August 2019

I've traveled a lot but I've never seen so much garbage on the streets like herein the Netherlands. From Breda to denBosch, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Amsterdam streets are filled with garbage especially after a night out. I don't understand why it's so hard to throw your garbage in a bin. I learned that Dutch people are used to have people clean after them. This is... Beyond my capacity to empathize and be objective.

Mario Indelicato 15:51 | 16 August 2019

You haven't been to Italy evidently! ?

Henk Kruize 17:04 | 29 December 2019

Really? What nationality are you Stefana? I have never seen such LIES and CRAP posted by anyone about Holland before. I have been here 9 months now after living 59 years in New Zealand. THAT place has a rubbish problem, but Holland... its cleaner than than most other EU nations I have been to while living here, I seriously have to wonder if you enjoy lying or just out to make Holland look bad.

anniebrown 09:04 | 25 June 2020

I agree with Stefana; I find the amount of rubbish in the streets incredible. And yes, I have lived in Italy, Austria, travelled much of Europe and lived in New Zealand for many years... In my experience, having lived in and travelled around the Netherlands, I think it is because people expect that their mess will be cleaned up after them. Which, granted, it is - frequently and well!

Ruben Proost 13:46 | 31 August 2019

And then all the people who throw all their old bread in the water all year long 'for the birds'.

rebmo 20:55 | 10 September 2019

I think that this story could have been turned much more positively. Shouldn’t we be celebrating that they are banning harmful chemicals and implementing useful policy to protect people and wildlife? As Stefana mentioned in another comment, if we could better address the garbage collection and issues then it would be a much more natural solution to rodent control.

Liz Irvine 18:13 | 11 September 2019

Nobody has mentioned cats! I've been here 30 years and when I first arrived you'd see cats everywhere - in all the shop windows at night, living in gardens and in most people's homes. Now the wild cats are being continually rounded up and sterilized, food shops aren't allowed them and dogs have grown in popularity. In the Jordaan in Amsterdam where I lived, we had a mouse - once! As soon as we got a cat it was gone without a trace! In those early years in Amsterdam I also only saw rats at night, in the city center, now I see them in broad daylight in my neighbourhood boldly walking along the footpaths. By the way, I still have a cat and NO MICE!