Rats have slowly come out of hiding, and there’s a reason behind it all.
During the past few years, Washington, D.C., has slowly seen an increase in rat sightings, even though the rodents have actually always been there, creepily lurking and hiding in the shadows away from all the people. But now residents have spotted rats eating out of trash cans and freely running around the streets, and recently, one even made its way onto the White House Lawn.
Believe it or not, there is a method to the madness and a reason for the recent influx in the rats’ public activity. In short, the increase is due to the plentiful weather changes, growing food sources, and increasing population density. The crazy week-long rainstorms are one of the many reasons that the rats are coming out of hiding.
Residents have gone to Twitter to voice their opinions and post sightings on the rodent matter.
John Roberts of Fox News recently tweeted:
So – I am standing in our @FoxNews standup location on the @WhiteHouse North Lawn and notice in my peripheral vision something moving at my left foot. I assumed it was one of the ubiquitous WH squirrels. But no….it was a big brown rat.
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) December 17, 2018
Paul Kane’s response to John Roberts was pretty clever:
I see your White-House-lawn has rats and raise you with the US Capitol. It’s just, just, really bad. https://t.co/BY1yksrAuj
— Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) December 18, 2018
And this one from Brian McGill:
— Brian McGill (@brian_mcgill) December 18, 2018
D.C. residents are obviously hoping that the problem can be resolved — and quickly. On January 1, 2019, the city will allocate $906,000 to the Department of Health in order to tackle the problem head-on. The money will be used to hire staff and equip exterminators, who use mobile devices that can track the rat complaints in real time, allowing them to keep a record of the highly infested areas.
Currently, Petworth and Columbia Heights are reported to be the areas with the most complaints but other areas of the city will not be spared. In order to solve the problem, the city plans to begin working in Ward 1 next year and moving in numerical order to tackle the problem.
The number of complaint calls has increased by 50 percent since 2016, totaling 5,310, and the number is expected to match that by next year. In the meantime, residents are urged to call the 311 line to report complaints.
Have you seen any rats in the city? Let us know in the comments below! And upload your photos!