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Health Protection

Työpajankatu 8
00580 Helsinki
P.O. Box 58235, 00099 City of Helsinki
+358 9 310 2611
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Urban Environment Division, Customer Services

Työpajankatu 8
00580 Helsinki
P.O. Box 58231, 00099 City of Helsinki
+358 9 310 22111
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Rat sightings

Rats are a part of urban nature and residents often only see rats when the animals find something exceptional to eat, such as bird food that has been left on the ground, apples that have fallen from trees or waste in a poorly managed waste collection point.

Rats may also move about more when the area they are living in becomes a construction and explosion site, for example. Rats are pests that can damage structures, contaminate foodstuffs and spread infectious diseases.

Extermination of rats is the responsibility of the property owner or holder

Extermination of rats and other pests is the responsibility of the property owner or holder, so any rat sightings should be reported directly to the owner or holder of the plot or building manager. Any rat sightings in the park and street areas in Helsinki can be reported directly to the Urban Environment Division’s customer service. From there, the feedback is forwarded to the parties in charge of managing public areas. Residents can also report rat sightings to the Environmental Health Unit (, which gives advice to people who are responsible for exterminating rats.

A health hazard or not?

When necessary, the Environmental Health Unit can assess whether a detached house, terraced house or apartment building area has so many rats that they may pose a health hazard. In such situations, a representative from the Environmental Health Unit will, for example, visit the reported location and inspect it in order to assess the health hazard. If necessary, a bulletin detailing the increase in rat sightings can be distributed to the properties in the area.

Isolated rat sightings are not usually considered a health hazard that would require remedial measures. If there are so many rats that they may pose a health hazard, a municipal health protection authority may order the property owner or holder to exterminate the rats in their area. The Environmental Health Unit will not carry out the extermination or give advice on how to perform it.

How to prevent a rat infestation

Rat control can be carried out using various types of traps or pesticides, where necessary. Control measures should preferably be carried out in the areas of several properties at a time, as rats may roam large areas.

Rat traps are sold to consumers in shops. The products should be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. When placing traps, make sure that they do not pose a risk to children, pets or other wildlife. Traps should be checked daily.

Due to recently implemented EU legislation, pesticides for rats can only be procured and used by pest control professionals. In the event of a widespread rat problem, please contact a pest control professional

06.11.2020 14:10