Farmers worried about rat attack on Texel: “Scrubbers are going out of control”

Genes from rats are increasing on Texel, informs our media partner Texelse Courant. On farmland, the rats eat sugar beets, onions, corn and other products, they cause problems in gardens, barns and houses, dig corridors in dikes and ditches and undermine nature.

Rat holes on the dike at the Krassenkeet pumping station. The rats go out on the mudflats at night at low tide to get food. – Texel Courant / Gerard Timmerman

Livestock farmer and farmer Henk van der Star therefore sounds the alarm. “It’s just going to run out of control.” As a tenant, he grazes sheep on Texel on the dike from Utopia to Wagejot. “The rats cross the dike. They dig tunnels in the dike and collect food on the Wadden Sea at low tide. As a tenant, I must not fight them from the water council. But neither do they themselves.”

“The Utopia nature reserve is also bursting with rats. There were always colonies of sandwich terns there, hundreds of them. Like on Wagejot. But now they are nowhere to be seen. It is simply infested with rats there. Hundreds and hundreds. The terns do not have a chance. They eat the eggs. So they go to breed elsewhere. “

According to Van der Star, the Nature Monument is doing ‘too little’ to fight rats. “Yes, they provide such a container to catch rats (Eco 100 rat traps, where rats are drunk, ed.). But it does not help. There must no longer be poison in the field, so you have to shoot them. Erik Mus (who has a shooting permit) shoots a whole bunch away in one night. “

Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier and Natuurmonumenten acknowledge that there are rats, but they see fewer problems in it than livestock breeder Henk van der Star.

“In winter, there are rats on the dike, looking for food, for mussels and oysters,” says Jorrit Voet from Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier. “Most people lie on the dike, where the dike is paved under the grass cover, so they have no influence on water safety. In the summer, there is enough food to be found everywhere, and they do not dig in the dike.”

catch bure

“We have also noticed the holes you have seen. The dike is not paved there and those holes will be closed. We must also fight the rats. Not now, because the rats are not in the dike now, so they are not in either. the area. for which we are responsible. In addition, we are awaiting a new permit for rat control. In the autumn we will try to limit the population of rats using trap cages. “

“Rats have always been there,” says Eckard Boot from the Nature Monument. “They are also part of nature, although they do not contribute to breeding success. But it is not fair to blame everything on the rats.”

“It is true that the sandwich stars, like thousands of fry in other years on Utopia and other nature reserves along the east coast, are not there now, I estimate now only somewhere around a hundred. But they are now not in Zwanenwater and other areas either. the other side.We do not know where they breed now.The sandwich tern is a fickle bird who chooses a place for himself.It’s a shame they are not there now, it’s a beautiful bird.Mardik Leopold researches it, it’s been going on for a while, but it can not only be the rats, although I think it does matter. “

The nature monument says ‘definitely to fight rats’ [te doen]† “We ask Laurens Kikkert from Faunabeheer Texel to keep them short, and we also talk about rats with other organizations in consultation with LONT. There are a lot of rats in the country. We also make information, and that is very important.”

brown rats

Since last year, the municipality has had Texel brown rat policy note / export agendas. Among other things, it says that research shows that brown rats have experienced nuisances in large parts of Texel for a long time. “The combination of natural and man-made conditions has created an ideal living environment for the brown rat.”

There is talk of a step-by-step plan. That a ‘Pest Control Texel’ steering group is set up, which regularly consults on pest control and reports and advises Texel municipality.


The battle is complex. Poison can be placed on farms by a certified rat exterminator. But not in the field anymore. There, people need to take other precautions, such as catching and shoot† It also appears that in many places rats no longer die from poison. Last week got famous that research from the Knowledge and Counseling Center for Pests (KAD) shows that they become resistant to poison and therefore less effective in combating. The rules are being tightened further.

Caution is important. Do not spread bird food, but use lockable containers, do not leave rubbish lying around, close animal enclosures well, close holes, no hiding places, etc. These and other tips can be found at a flyer which society has distributed.

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