Washington DC is known as a particularly rat infested city, and this problem is only getting worse, as pest control operators in DC are being overwhelmed with a record number of calls concerning rat infestations. Aside from the record number of rat-related calls to the city’s animal control service, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that rat problems in DC are getting out of hand. For example, last September, a Youtube video surface showing a rat pulling a fire alarm in the city. This incident led to the complete evacuation of the apartment building where it occurred. According to Gerard Brown, head of Washington’s rodent control department, a series of mild winters has allowed rats in the city to breed constantly. However, the rats have no problem surviving cold winters, as the rats invading the city belong to the Rattus Norvegicus species. This species is more commonly known as the Norway rat, and it is adept at surviving cold winters.
Many of the homes that have reported rat infestations are located near the White House, and pest control operators have been applying rat-poison into numerous shrubs and bushes around the downtown DC area in a desperate effort to control the city’s rapidly growing rat population. The city’s rat problem is being compounded by the rapid gentrification occurring in the city as a result of an economic boom. The city’s population has just surpassed 700,000, which makes DC more populous than the states of Wyoming and Vermont. The number of restaurants, bars and coffee shops has increased by 25 percent in just two years in the city. The city has gone to war with rats in the past. In 1967, rats chewed through important power cables, which knocked out electricity for an hour in about a third of DC. This time, Mayor Muriel Bowser has allocated an extra 900,000 in order to ramp up pest control efforts in the city.
Would you find it hard to tolerate living in a city with a high rat population?