Prevent a rat infestation

A rat infestation is caused primarily by people tossing rubbish or food on streets or in gardens. Help prevent this problem.

Many municipal employees are working daily to keep the city clean. You can also do a lot to prevent a rat infestation.

Prevent litter

  • Do not throw away any waste or leftover food on the street.
  • Do not place any garbage bags or loose waste next to rubbish containers.
  • Place garbage bags at the kerb the day your household waste is collected. Put your rubbish out preferably just before it will be collected. Seal the bags well.

    Do not feed birds

    Do not feed bread or food scraps to birds. Large quantities of food can be dangerous to birds. Extra food is often left uneaten and this attracts rats.

    Throw old bread in the bread bin

    Do you have leftover or stale bread? Put it in the bread collection bin. Look at the bread containers in the city.

    Report rat nuisance

    You can report rat nuisance to the municipality if you have seen 1 or more rats outdoors. This could be on the street, in a park or in the garden/courtyard of your housing corporation. You can report it to the municipality via the page Report rat nuisance.

    What is the municipality doing?

    The municipality launched a joint effort to prevent rat nuisance at the end of 2018 together with housing corporations, involved residents and the Haagse Milieu Services.

    The most important new measures include:

    • There is now 1 central place for reporting problems with rats in the outdoor space and in gardens of housing corporations: at the municipality, either on the website or by contacting the municipality.
    • The municipality is able to introduce a feeding ban in neighbourhoods which are experiencing problems with rats. Residents who throw away food scraps outdoors can get a fine of € 95.

    A feeding ban has been in effect since July 2019 in Mariahoeve, Moerwijk and Morgenstond.

    In addition to these measures the municipality will continue its public information campaign on the consequences of throwing away bread and food scraps outdoors:

    • For adults there are bread lessons in partnership with Stichting Aarde-Werk.
    • Teaching packages have been developed for primary and secondary schools.
    • The play ‘Broodkapje’ was created for children. It teaches them why bread does not belong on the street and what they can do themselves.

    The municipality will also place bread collection bins in more neighbourhoods.

    2 pilot areas

    A specific anti-rat campaign was launched at the end of 2018 in 2 areas where there are big problems with rats: Moerwijk-Oost in Escamp and Mariahoeve De Landen in Haagse Hout. Extra measures are being taken in these neighbourhoods. It also has an action plan focused on preventing an infestation. In addition to the measures stated above, the municipality will conduct a study into building defects. Examples include broken sewer pipes, downspouts or ventilation grilles where rats can enter buildings. The study will also look at public green areas. In addition the public information campaign will be brought to business, schools and mosques.

    Municipal enforcers and the housing corporations will carry out extra checks in the pilot areas. Residents and businesses will be warned about throwing away leftovers on the street or in courtyard gardens of housing corporations. Fines will be handed out more often to repeat offenders.  

    The municipality will examine whether this approach is needed in other areas of the city.

    Published: 7 August 2019Modified: 18 February 2020