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The Department of Health (DOH) has established a comprehensive, sustainable and responsive rodent control and animal disease prevention program. This program will use an integrated approach that includes community outreach, surveys, abatement, enforcement and cooperation with other District agencies to protect human health and the environment.
In October 2000, emergency re-organization and code enforcement legislation created the Bureau of Community Hygiene in DOH and established initial civil penalties for conditions conducive to the proliferation of the rodent population. Permanent legislation passed October 19, 2000.
The new model includes a centralized program core in the Department of Health and defines enforcement services for the Rodent Control and Food Protection Programs.
This program includes interagency communication to assure a citywide enforcement structure where each agency participates in achieving neighborhood goals for cleanliness, safety and healthy environments.
An Animal Disease Prevention Unit is now a part of the Bureau of Community Hygiene to prevent animal diseases respond to dog bites, licensing of pets and related issues.
The Department of Health conducts citywide outreach and education efforts through printed materials, TV, radio and print media using schools and public and private partners for distribution.
Rodent Control Program staff alerts the DOH Food Protection Program staff of specific areas where waste food sources contribute to rodent activity in residential neighborhoods or commercial neighborhoods. DOH Food Protection Program will initiate enforcement at food establishments if needed.
DOH abatement efforts utilize registered products to bait rodents in outdoor burrows on public property. DOH also will bait private property if residents obtain signed petitions.
For complaints about rodents, residents should contact the Citywide Call Center at 311. When you contact the Citywide Call Center, please request the report to be sent to DOH, and DOH will receive the complaints (electronically). Control numbers are assigned to track DOH responses over time.