Rats can carry pathogens that potentially cause disease in humans. These pathogens can be transmitted to humans via direct contact, or when people come into contact with water, soil or food that is contaminated with rat feces or rat urine. An example of a disease that can be transmitted from rats to humans is called Weil’s disease.

RIVM studies the pathogens that rats in urban areas carry. This is done on different locations in Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Rotterdam. For this we use rat traps to capture the rats. The rat traps do not contain poison, but a snap trap. The rat traps are present at a certain location for a period of 4 weeks, after which the traps will be moved to another location. We also assess which factors determine the abundance of rats in a certain location. With the resulting knowledge, better advise can be given about (preventive)measures against rat nuisance.

Additionally, we placed wildlife camera’s on different locations in cities. With these camera’s we study the wildlife community composition in Dutch cities. We strive to place the wildlife cameras in such a way that people will not be photographed. If this would accidentally happen, pictures of people will be deleted.

If you have questions or comments regarding this study, please send them to rattenonderzoek@rivm.nl. We strive to answer your e-mail within 3 working days.