Rats epidemic in London: More than 100 complaints recorded by councils every day, new report shows

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  • London boroughs received 180,000 mouse and rat complaints in past five years
  • Reports rose ten per cent in 2016/17 compared to previous year
  • Tower Hamlets alone recorded 30,000 complaints since 2012
  • Evidence suggests conditions in London will get even better for rodents
  • ‘Rat Land’ report calls on the Mayor and local authorities to take action
  • Read the full report here


London councils received over 180,000 complaints about rats and mice over the past five years – more than 100 per day – a new report by Susan Hall AM shows.

The London-wide Assembly Member began researching the extent of London’s rodent problem after a video of scavenging rats in Harrow went viral earlier this year.

Her report, ‘Rat Land’, found the number of complaints received by local authorities is on the rise. A total of 30,119 were logged with councils in 2016/17 – an increase of ten per cent on the previous year.

Tower Hamlets alone handled 30,000 complaints about rodents since 2012 – 16 per day – with Brent dealing with almost 20,000.

Evidence provided by rodent experts, including Rentokil, suggest conditions for rats will continue to improve as London’s density increases.

The report suggests London is facing a problem on a similar scale to Paris, where rats reportedly now outnumber residents by two to one and have caused the closure of public parks.

More litter and food waste on streets, as well as unseasonably warm winter weather, have been blamed for the increasing rat population – which has risen 19 per cent nationwide.

London Assembly member Hall wants the Mayor to lead local authorities in cleaning up the city’s streets and minimising the city’s rodent problem.  She said:

“The figures in my rats report suggest London’s crawling – and the problem is getting worse.


“We’ve seen in Paris what can happen when increasing populations of rodents are ignored. Not only does they present a public health issue, they risk damaging the reputation of individual boroughs and harming the global view of London as a clean and attractive city.


“If we want to avoid our city being overrun by rats like Paris and Harrow, we need a co-ordinated approach to tackle this problem, led by the Mayor.


“The recommendations in this report will go some way to cleaning up London’s streets and ratting out our city’s nuisance rodents.”


Further Information

  • Susan Hall is a Conservative London-wide Assembly Member
  • Worst five boroughs for rat complaints:


Council Number of rodent complaints since 2012
Tower Hamlets 30,000
Brent 19,978
Camden 13,558
Lambeth 13,357
Ealing 12,240

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