Number of rats in Amsterdam more than doubled since 2019

Number of rats in Amsterdam more than doubled since 2019

Figured published this week by local news outlets AT5 / NH Amsterdam have revealed that, between 2019 and 2021, the GGD saw the number of reports of rats in Amsterdam more than double. 

GGD received over 7.000 reports of rats in Amsterdam in 2021

It’s a nasty reality when living in any major city around the world, and Amsterdam is no different. According to figures from the municipal health service in the Dutch capital, the number of rat-related incidents has more than doubled in recent years, from 3.409 in 2019 to 7.329 in 2021. 

The GGD explains that this sudden and significant increase isn’t particularly surprising. The outbreak of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, as well as the various restrictions imposed by the Dutch government, meant people in the Netherlands spent more time at home. This not only resulted in more household waste, but also meant people were more likely to notice rats and other vermin in their local area. 

This isn't the first time Amsterdam's rodents have made headlines; a few months ago, a couple in Amsterdam were shocked to find a live rat in their toilet!

Vermin and pest control in the Dutch capital

The municipality is aware of the issue Amsterdam is facing. In a letter to the city council, city alderman Jakob Wedemeijer voiced his concerns: “No alarming pest pressure has yet been observed, but there is clearly an increase.”

Last year a feeding ban was introduced for large parts of the city. Any residents found to be actively feeding birds or other wild animals could face a 70-euro fine. But other measures have been limited so far, and rat poison is banned in all public spaces - although mechanical traps are permitted.

Rats are not only a source of mild irritation, as doctors warn they can carry and transmit diseases. They could also cause some considerable material damage by gnawing on wires and cables, which could lead to a short circuit or a fire.

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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