News & Politics

Rats! DC Is One of America’s Rattiest Cities

Washington is once more fourth on the list of places with a rodent problem.

Photo by Andwell via iStock.

For the third year in a row, DC has maintained a top five spot on pest control company Orkin’s list of rattiest cities in America. Coming in fourth place—the same spot as last year—Washington is the second rattiest locale on the East Coast, following New York. The ranking is based on new residential and commercial rodent treatments completed between September 1, 2021 and August 31, 2022.

DC’s war on rats is far from a new issue. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, the federal government brought in over 100 pest control workers to try to control the rodents. But the number of calls to 311, DC’s city services line, have increased over the past few years. According to WUSA9, 11,300 people called the hotline for rat-related issues—a steep incline from the 7,500 calls made in 2020.

So, how can we lower our placement on the list that no one wants to win? DC Health encourages residents to use tightly-fitted lids on food containers and trash bins. If you have plants in your yard, be mindful of English Ivy, Periwinkle, Pachysandra, and Hosta, which are hospitable environments for rodents. But hey, at least we don’t have to deal with cicada rats this year.



Katie Kenny
Editorial Fellow