WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — New construction rustles up the rat population. Improper trash disposal feeds them. And by default, nearby businesses become their homes.

That’s the ongoing pattern in some parts of D.C.

On Thursday night, an Advisory Neighborhood Commission serving neighborhoods along the 14th street corridor hosted a ‘rat summit’ at Washington Plaza to address some of the issues.

A few dozen people and representatives from the Department of Public Works and Department of Health crowded into one of the hotel’s ballrooms to discuss the vermin problem.

Gerard Brown manages DOH’s rodent control division.

Some things he says you can’t control, like warm winters, he told WNEW reporter George Mesthos. Other things you have to plan for, like development that stirs up rat burroughs.

Pamela Washington, who works for the DPW, says they’ve tried ticketing people who don’t get rid of their trash properly. Now, they need people to realize it’s them against the rats, she said.

Now that an initial meeting has been held, there will be meetings along 14th street to bring out all the hot spots and work on solutions like trash compactors and tighter windows for trash disposal.

Brown said the way to tackle the problem is to “take the city back from the rats one block at a time.”

WNEW’s George Mesthos contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.


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