Muriel Bowser

D.C. Addressing Growing Rat Problem

With the number of rat complaints in D.C. growing, Mayor Muriel Bowser toured an alley in Dupont Circle to highlight the problem and what's being done about it.

So far in 2017, the city has received 4,869 complaints about rats, compared with 2,300 in 2015 and 3,500 in 2016.

Teams from the Department of Health are trying to control the rodent population by spraying in their underground hiding places.

Another group of inspectors fines businesses ($500) and homeowners ($50) who don’t keep a lid on their trash.

D.C. launched a program this year providing grants for small businesses so they can afford trash compactors keeping the trash in and the rats out.

Officials also ask residents to use their garbage disposals as much as possible to reduce food waste.

2017 Complaints by Ward:

  • Ward 1: 1,034 records
  • Ward 2: 764 records
  • Ward 3: 140 records
  • Ward 4: 870 records
  • Ward 5: 684 records
  • Ward 6: 772 records
  • Ward 7: 274 records
  • Ward 8: 331 records
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