Dupont Circle becoming known as a rat sanctuary, even on Yelp

- Rats are part of city living, but some say the rodents have created their own sanctuary in Dupont Circle. In fact, it is even creating some online buzz among Yelp users.

Someone has started a Yelp page called the “Dupont Circle Rat Sanctuary” and reviewers have been posting on the page dating back to 2014. Here are some of the most recent comments posted in September:

Read Felicia B.'s review of Dupont Circle Rat Sanctuary on Yelp Read Rat S.'s review of Dupont Circle Rat Sanctuary on Yelp Read Michael L.'s review of Dupont Circle Rat Sanctuary on Yelp Read Kiran P.'s review of Dupont Circle Rat Sanctuary on Yelp Read Damon B.'s review of Dupont Circle Rat Sanctuary on Yelp

FOX 5 visited Dupont Circle Tuesday night and discovered finding these rodents were not a problem. We saw big ones and small ones running all around everywhere. At first, we thought they might have been ground squirrels, but you can easily tell they are definitely rats with their tails.

We also spoke with some people who walk through the area and are familiar with the problem.

“You see a fair amount of rats running from one bush to the next,” said one resident. “You sometimes see people who don’t know the area very well be very surprised, but I feel like it’s almost normal at this point. They are kind of like wallpaper. They are always there.”

“Yeah, it surprised me because I heard it was a very clean city,” said another man. “I just heard something behind me and I didn’t know what it was, so I think I will move.”

“To me, it seems like a health emergency or something,” said another resident. “I don’t know why they don’t exterminate. I asked the park service if they were going to exterminate, but I didn’t see the person again.”

It happens that the National Park Service was getting ready to formally announce an agreement with the D.C. Department of Health this week to deal with the rat infestation. The National Park Service said in a statement:

"The National Park Service is committed to ensuring safe, positive experiences for visitors in all of our park areas. To that end, we have just entered into an agreement with the D.C. Department of Health to better control the rat population in National Park Service parks throughout the city. Under the agreement, which takes effect on October 1, D.C. staff will not only assist in treating rats in NPS areas, but will also make recommendations to make our parks less habitable for rats. The NPS and D.C. Department of Health are working together to create a rat-free D.C. by simplifying the process to report rats and decreasing the response time for treatment of affected parks."

They are hoping this new agreement will help decrease the response time and really deal with this issue. Residents can also call 311 in order to report a rat problem.

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