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Rat Population Increase Notice

Hello DC Residents:

The DC Department of Health (DOH) Rodent Control Division has noted an increase in the number of rats across the District. 

This increase may be due to:

  • New construction;
  • Milder winters over the past decade;
  • Trash not being stored properly.

To prevent further growth in the rat population, residents are encouraged to follow these ten tips.

  1. Store garbage in metal or heavy plastic containers with tight lids.
  2. Place trash outside shortly before pickup; don’t leave plastic garbage bags out overnight.
  3. Remove weeds and debris near buildings and in yards; don’t give rats a place to hide.
  4. Store opened food in metal or glass containers with tight lids when storing in your home.
  5. Don’t leave extra pet food out; store it in a secure container.
  6. Sweep up food remains, litter, and trash inside and outside your home.
  7. Inspect your basement and house for cracks and holes; seal them with mortar.
  8. Make sure you have screens on windows; inspect windows and screens for holes.
  9. Keep outside doors closed; use metal trim to prevent rodents from gnawing and entering underneath.
  10. Don’t provide hiding places for rodents; store materials such as lumber and boxes on a rack with a clean, open area underneath. Get rid of unused materials and junk.

If you observe rats, or see any signs of rat activity, please call 311. The Department of Health’s Rodent Control Program will schedule an inspection and abatement at the site.

For more information, visit the DC Department of Health’s Rodent Control Division webpage.

Contact Phone: 
(877) 672-2174
Contact Fax: 
(202) 727-8471
Contact TTY: 
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:15 am to 4:45 pm