. . .Complaints to the city’s 311 phone line concerning rats are at a four-year high. There have been 3,286 calls this fiscal year, up 64 percent from fiscal year 2015, according to data from the Health Department.
“Even one rat is one rat too many,” said Gerard Brown, program manager for the District Department of Health’s rodent control division and no relation to Nate Brown.
Gerard Brown, who has been killing rats in D.C. for 30 years, said the recent uptick is noticeable.
Rodents cause property damage, chew on electrical wires that can start fires and can spread disease, although that is extremely rare in cities, he said.
The more trash, the more rats, he added. That’s why trash control has become a priority in D.C., where the number of restaurants and bars jumped about 30 percent from 1,729 in 2006 to 2,267 in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Read more from “A Downside to D.C.’s Population Growth? The Growing Number of Rats.” HERE)