Rat nuisance reports in Amsterdam 'increasing every year'
Reports of rats are on the rise in Amsterdam –– and have been higher than ever over the past couple years, according to Het Parool. They are also becoming increasingly resistant to pesticides.
The GGD has been keeping track of rat reports since 2015. In 2019, this number was at 3,409. In 2020, the number of reports suddenly skyrocketed to 5,477, then to 7,329 in 2021. With three quarters of 2022 over, this year is expect to track with the others, according to Het Parool.
"It is suspected that people were at home more during coronavirus," said Dave de Jonge, Animal Pest Control Team Leader at the GGD. "Then you just see rats more often, but they were always there.”
One pest control business owner reported seeing 10 to 20 percent more reports with every passing year. “It's good to be in the city. There is a lot of access to food and there are many places for rats to hide," said Jan Verschoor, secretary of the Dutch Association of Pest Management Companies (NVPB). "And the picture is correct: the nuisance in Amsterdam is increasing every year.”
Rats are common in Amsterdam across districts, according to Het Parool. They appear in public places –– especially where food is left out –– like Museumplein, but also in people's homes.
"I've been lying awake at night," said one woman who lives in Amsterdam-Noord. Her husband found five rats, one the size of a small cat, after setting a trap in the ceiling of their house's bathroom.
In addition, from Jan. 1, 2023, people will no longer be allowed to administer rat poison in their own homes. Instead, they have to call in a certified company to get rid of the pests. Verschoor told Het Parool that if poison isn't applied the right way, it can lead to more resistant rats.
But Richard Piké of Van der Velden Pest Control did not have a good outlook on 2023's new pest control rules. "I won't say: we give those rats complete free rein, but that's what it comes down to, of course."