Trash & Rodent Control

Join the the Rat Pack!

I’ve launched a trash and rodent control initiative with Commissioner Kyle Mulhall. We have a three pronged strategy: cutting off food and eliminating cover; regular inspections and abatement measures and renewed funding for DC’s trash compactor program for business. But we need your help to make it work.  Please join the Rat Pack!

Like much of DC, our neighborhood has a rat problem.  The COVID pandemic has made it even worse.  We are organizing a coordinated effort to take a bite out of the rodent population.  

With guidance from DC’s Department of Health “Rat Warriors,” the DC Humane Society, private pest control, and public and private trash haulers

Here’s the three step plan:

1. Inspecting for rats: Partnering with the DC Department of Health (DOH), we are scheduling rat inspections along all the blocks in our neighborhood. We hope to repeat these inspections several times over the coming year. But, for that to work, you need to give permission for property access by filling out the form at this link and returning it to me as soon as possible. You can mail it or drop off at the ANC 2B office on Dupont Circle or take a photo and email or text it to me. Alternately, you may post it in a visible place at rear of your property in clear plastic bag.

If rats are found,DOH can advise you on how to better rat-proof your property, and if they treat for rats they are offering to provide a non-poison option that uses dry ice, in addition to rodenticides. Also, check out the tip on this page and download our Rat Riddance tip sheet here.

Tips for Rat Riddance

•  Seal all holes in exterior walls, floors and foundations using sheet metal, cement or wire mesh and seal basement windows with wire mesh

• Eliminate all clutter around the outside of homes
and under porches

•  Store any garbage in metal or heavy plastic
containers with tight-fitting lids and place trash
at point of collection shortly before pickup —
not days in advance

•  Remove weeds and debris near your property/
yards where rats can hide easily. Plants such as
English Ivy, Periwinkle, Pachysnadra, and
Hosta are known to be cover for rats

•  Store food in metal, glass or heavy duty
plastic containers with tight fitting lids

• Remove uneaten pet food, and store pet food
in secure containers

• Add metal weather stripping and trim to doors
to prevent rodents from gnawing and entering
underneath

Complaints

• Please call 311 to report rodent complaints.

• Please call 202-535-1954 for information,
outreach, educational materials, and
enforcement.

• To report a rat bite, sick rat or injured rat,
contact the Animal Control Division at
202-576-6664.

2. Reducing trash in our alleys: Experts say the trick to defeating rats is cutting their food supply. We are asking everyone to try and find ways to reduce the amount trash and the length of time it sits in our alleys. Here are some points to consider when looking over the trash disposal situation in our own households:

Putting Out Trash – With our small yards, it is hard to keep garbage cans from sitting all week in our alleys. Technically DC law requires that trash/recycling containers go out no sooner than 6:30 pm the night before collection. Residents are required to remove containers from public space by 8 pm on collection day. Please try not to leave containers in public space, especially while containing trash. It could prove key to reducing rats!

Recycling – Public and private trash haulers report that a majority of all recycling collected in DC ends up in the City Dump due to food contamination. This same food contamination attracts rats. DC recommends cleaning recyclables before disposal.

Composting – DC offers multiple options to dispose of raw trash by composting. Please go to https://www.litterless.com/where-to-compost/washington-dc to learn more. Options include keeping a composting container in your home and disposing of the contents at public composting sites hosted by the DC Parks Department and also the Department of Public Works. Commercial composting services provide a composting box and regularly collection from your home for $20 to $25 per month.

3. Help deal with trash from businesses: Commercial trash dumpsters are a major contributor to our rat problem.  I am working with our local “Main Streets” business associations and local restaurants to push for stronger rat control plans and more frequent trash collection.

I am also lobbying the Mayor and DC Council to restore funding to the District’s $150,000 grant program that buys commercial trash compactors for local small restaurants. DOH and trash haulers report these compactors, which are sealed, can make a real dent in rats numbers.

We’re in this together – we can make a difference by taking a few small but important steps. Here are some tips to follow for Rat Riddance:

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