The Netherlands has seen an increase in pests and vermin in 2020

The Netherlands has seen an increase in pests and vermin in 2020

The first six months of 2020 have seen a significant rise in the number of reports of infestations of pests, likely because of the coronavirus lockdown.

More vermin than in 2019

The Dutch Pest and Wildlife Expertise Centre (KAD) received 1.903 reports of pest and vermin infestations since January, over 600 reports more than they received in the same period in 2019. The KAD suspects this rise is most likely due to the coronavirus crisis, as people have been spending more time at home and so have become more aware of the issue and have had time to report it. 

Furthermore, the organisation notes that animals exhibited different behaviour patterns because of the lockdown, as the places where vermin like rats would perhaps typically go to find food were closed. 

Director of the KAD, Bastiaan Meerburg, says Dutch municipalities could do more to battle the issue of pests in the Netherlands, as there are currently no clear guidelines or measures in place and there are four departments dealing with pest control policy. The KAD is therefore calling for a more centralised approach to pest control, so that one department can be dedicated to tackling the issue.

The KAD also notes that it is especially important to combat any issues with vermin now, because they may carry bacteria or viruses. 

Rats cause the most issues

The five species which resulted in the most number of reports were rats, ants, wasps, mice, and the beech marten.

Animal species Number of reports
Rats 1.280
Ants 292
Wasps 63
Mice 45
Beech marten 36


The KAD state that, while these figures already show a significant increase, the real scale of the matter is likely much larger than is known, but due to the lack of consistency in dealing with the matter of pests, there is no real clarity on the issue.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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