The Hague - The Hague tackling rat infestation


The Hague tackling rat infestation

Published: 4 December 2018Modified: 4 December 2018

The Municipality of The Hague, public housing corporations and concerned residents have joined together to combat the growing rat problem in the city. Rats present a danger to public health and many people find rats repulsive or frightening.

The rat infestation is not going away easily. Despite efforts by concerned residents, public housing corporations, the municipality and the Haagse Milieu Services (HMS), the situation is not improving. If residents throw their food scraps away outdoors, it attracts rats. Combating rats is a losing battle if people do not change their behaviour. This is why a common approach was developed, which consists of a mix of prevention, enforcement and clean up. This approach is in addition to existing measures such as training ‘bread ambassadors’ and putting bread containers in place.  

Report problems with rats

Residents can now report problems with rats by calling tel. 14070 and online at  A ban on feeding rodents and other animals will be introduced to areas which are experiencing problems with rats or where this could become a problem in the future. The municipality will post warning signs. The law makes it easier to hand out fines to people who nevertheless throw food scraps away outdoors. Businesses which contribute to the problems will also get fined.

Pilot areas

A specific anti-rat campaign will be launched in 2 areas where there are big problems with rats: Moerwijk-Oost and Mariahoeve De Landen. Municipal enforcers will carry out extra checks and will punish repeat offenders. The enforcers will also explain the consequences of throwing away bread in the public space. They will visit residents at home and will also give talks at schools and mosques. The housing corporations will give the HMS access to the common outdoor space so that they can effectively tackle the rat problem.  


All the parties involved will evaluate the effects of this approach after 6 months.

Deputy Mayor Richard de Mos launches anti-rat campaign in Mariahoeve
Deputy Mayor Richard de Mos launches anti-rat campaign in Mariahoeve