The Facts on Rats in the City

The City has a regular pest control program in place, which involves installing and monitoring bait stations in public places, and we place additional traps in response to community complaints.

There's no accurate way to count the number of rats in the city. However, it is not uncommon to see more rats in summer as people spend more time outdoors.

The City of Sydney ensures events in parks have strict waste controls in place. The City's waste teams clean parks daily to minimise food available to vermin.

City staff say there doesn't appear to be any recent increase in numbers of rats.

Council regularly monitors bin collections to ensure they are carried out efficiently and with minimal adverse impact on residents and the amenity of the street. This involves regular site audits and visits as well as fortnightly meetings with contractors and performance reviews to make sure their contract obligations are met.

We are currently working with residents and businesses in Llankelly Place, Kings Cross, to stop bins being left on the street between collections. Staff are working to have bins collected from within buildings, which is normal practice across the City's area.

The City of Sydney carries out local waste collection and recycling services for Housing NSW residences in our government area. Managing and removing any illegally dumped items from its properties is the responsibility of HNSW.

Winter is the most active time of year for rats feeding. Generally, rats will seek out food and water close to the nest or in familiar locations.

The City advises property owners to remove overgrown vegetation and accumulated rubbish which might attract vermin, and ensure regular pest control is carried out.

The City monitors public areas regularly and responds to reported sightings.

In areas outside the City's jurisdiction but in our local government area, such as railway stations, the City liaises with the relevant state agency to ensure complaints are addressed.

Councils have powers under state legislation to impose fines for breaches with adverse environmental or health impacts.

People can report issues to the City's customer service team on or phone health and building on 9265 9333.

Download this fact sheet as a .pdf: The Facts on Rats in the City

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