Media releases

City of Sydney to double rat baits

Published 22 July 2019

The number of rat baits on City of Sydney land will double over the coming weeks in response to a growing number of rat sightings and several cases of leptospirosis in dogs.

Rat populations have been stirred by an unprecedented number of major construction and infrastructure projects taking place across the City of Sydney area.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City of Sydney is taking action to tackle the problem.

“We have been very concerned by the recent cases of leptospirosis in Sydney, affecting dogs in our local area, so have decided to double the number of rat bait stations in public areas and increase inspections to monitor rat activity,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We will now have 860 rat bait stations in public areas and will place additional baits out when we receive complaints from residents and businesses.

“We can’t fight the rat problem on our own, because we can only install rat baits on our own land. The City has written to Sydney Trains, Property NSW, Sydney Water and NSW Land and Housing Corporation to urge them to increase baiting and monitoring of rats on their land.

“We also need residents and businesses to take care with food scraps and other waste. Our regulatory staff will continue to target poor waste management practices and illegal dumping in hot spots.”

The City is also recommending private property owners ensure regular pest control is carried out, and remove overgrown vegetation and accumulated rubbish that may attract vermin.

“It is essential that residents book to have their waste collected. City of Sydney residents are entitled to 52 free bulky waste collections every year, which aims to tackle illegal dumping and control pests and vermin,” the Lord Mayor said.

Pet owners concerned about recent cases of leptospirosis in the inner city should contact their vet.

There are more than 135 City of Sydney staff and contractors who monitor rats as part of their duties in public places like parks and streets, and food premises.

More than 110 of those workers are based in public areas, removing food waste, identifying and backfilling rat holes and reporting rats for targeted baiting. Visitors to city parks are reminded to dispose of food scraps in the bins provided and to not feed any rats.

Twenty-five environmental health officers carry out regular inspections of food premises and shopping centres, ensuring operators are fulfilling their responsibility to eradicate pests and vermin and prevent their entry into food premises.

The City also recently introduced a requirement for all developers to provide a pest management plan ahead of major construction work.

For media inquiries or images, contact Alex Cauchi. Phone 0467 803 815 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Julia Lenton. Phone 0410 748 039 or email