DC leaders aim to keep District's rat population under control

- D.C. leaders are announcing new methods aimed at keeping the District's rat population in check.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and other community members took part in a "Rat Walk" on Monday to highlight the efforts the city will use to combat the problem, which will include the use of solar trash cans and smart litter bins.

Bowser also introduced the Waste Compactor Grant Program, which will allow up to 60 local businesses to buy or lease trash compactors.

Over 3,200 calls about rat complaints have been received in 2017 fiscal year in Washington, D.C.

As for measuring success, Bowser said that rat complaint calls to 311 are not always the best indicator. Instead, rat burrows are counted. According to the city, Dupont Circle had 150 rat burrows a year ago. Now, it has eleven.

RAT ABATEMENT TIPS:

- Store garbage in metal or heavy plastic containers with tight-fitting lids;

- Place trash outside shortly before pickup, instead of days in advance;

- Remove weeds and debris near buildings and in yards where rats can easily hide;

- Store food that has been removed from its original packaging in metal, glass, or heavy-duty plastic containers with tight fitting lids,

- Remove uneaten pet food and store pet food in secure containers; and

- Report rodent issues in your neighborhood, by calling or texting 311.

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