Do you have a problem with rats in or around your home? Report it, and the municipality will contact you and send a pest controller to assess the situation, if necessary. This is free of charge. The pest controller will give you advice and help you get rid of the rats.
If you see rats on the street, please report this as well. If we receive multiple notifications, we will investigate the cause and determine how best to address the problem.
The Municipality of Maastricht only controls rats; controlling other pests in or around the home is the responsibility of the home owner. We would be happy to provide advice, so please feel free to contact us. More information about pests and vermin can be found on the website of the Dutch Pest & Wildlife Expertise Centre (KAD):
If you are not sure what type of infestation you have, let us know when you submit your report. The municipal pest controller will contact you and help you determine which animal is causing the problem. He or she will then advise you on ways to prevent or eradicate the infestation.
Frequently asked questions about rats
As far as we know, only brown rats are common in Maastricht. Despite what the name suggests, brown rats can vary in colour from light brown to dark grey.
Rats are afraid of people and are more likely to flee than to attack. However, a cornered rat may act aggressively, so stay at a safe distance if you do happen to encounter one. Rats can also carry diseases that are dangerous for humans, such as Weil's disease (Leptospirosis). This disease can be contracted through water contaminated with rat urine; for example, if the bacteria enters the body through an open wound. The risk of contamination, however, is very small. For more information, visit the website of the Netherlands' National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
Most rats live in sewers. This environment provides them with the three things they need for survival: shelter, food, and water. But rats often leave the sewer, especially if the sewer or drainpipe is broken. They will start to scavenge above ground. If they find food outside the sewer, they may make their nest near that food source. This can cause a serious nuisance.
- If there's a sewer smell in your home, this could be caused by a broken sewer system or drain. Have this inspected (by your housing corporation or landlord). The property owner is responsible for the sewer system inside the property boundary.
- Check your drainpipes. If they're broken, have them repaired (by your housing corporation or landlord).
- If you see a rat or a suspicious hole in the ground, please report this to the municipality.
The use of poison as a rat control method is only permitted under strict conditions, as the poison can also poison other animals that eat the rats, such as foxes, beech martens, and predatory birds. Rat traps are more animal friendly than poison.
- Do not leave rubbish bags outside.
- Don't throw left-over food in the residual waste bag. You can dispose of left-over food in the green container.
- Do not dispose of food in or near the containers at the recycling point (‘milieuperron’).
- Do not store pet food outdoors, or store it in sealable containers.
- If you keep chickens, rabbits, or other animals, ensure you don't overfeed them. Make sure they can eat all the food in one sitting, so there's none left lying on the ground. This also applies to feeding birds in your garden or at the park.
- Keep your garden well maintained. Rats like to hide away, so make sure you clear rubbish or objects (especially along walls) that could serve as hiding places for rats.
- Clean up after your dog – dog mess is tasty food for rats.