Dutch gov't policy on pesticides to cause plague of rodents: Knowledge Center

In a few years' time, the Netherlands will face a serious plague of mice and rats due to the government's decision to ban farmers and citizens from using chemical pesticides, according to the Knowledge and Advice Center on Animal Pests. "This will be a much bigger calamity than the oak processionary caterpillar", the center said, RTL Nieuws reports.

From 2023, Dutch will no longer be allowed to use rat- and mouse poison freely. Spreading this type of poison outside is already prohibited, but from 2023 the use of poison pellets will also be banned indoors. Rat traps may still be used by consumers, but only professional pest controllers will be allowed to use poison.

The rat and mouse populations in the Netherlands are growing, according to pest controller Rentokil. But this is not only due to the reduction of poison, a company manager said, according to the broadcaster. "It is also due to the mild winters. And the fact that people more often eat food on the street and leave food lying around does not help either."

According go the board for the authorization of plant protection products and biocides CTGB, rat- and mouse poison also harms birds of prey. "We are only implementing a European regulation", a spokesperson for the organization said.