Washington, DC

DC is Nation's Third Rattiest City So Far This Year, New Data Shows

Nicholas Barron

Washington, D.C., is on track to have its rattiest year since 2016, according to data examined by RentHop.

So far in 2021, DC’s 311 system has received 11,000 rodent complaints. That’s 26% more than this time last year.

Rodent complaints spiked in June. That month, the city recorded 1,625 complaints, 63.6% more than in June 2020.

While rat complaints tend to increase in the summer months, RentHop said this year’s June jump in DC is striking.

“The rodent population in D.C. seemed to have exploded exponentially this year,” RentHop said.

Photo by IRINA LYADOVA from Pexels

Which DC neighborhoods are the rattiest?

Rodent complaints jumped most this year in the Columbia Heights, Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Plains, and Park View neighborhoods.

Those areas received 1,400 complaints about rats so far this year, 13% of the city’s total, and 52.9% more than this time in 2020.

These neighborhoods are averaging 1,100 rodent complaints for every square mile.

The Shaw and Logan Circle neighborhoods are second in most rodent complaints per square mile. These areas received 402 complaints year-to-date, averaging 711 complaints per square mile.

Rodent complaints are up the most year-over-year in the Mayfair, Hillbrook, and Manning Heights neighborhoods in Northeast DC. Though those areas recorded only 31 complaints so far in 2021, that’s a 100% increase over last year.

Meanwhile, rodent complaints dropped the most in the Woodland/Fort Stanton, Garfield Heights, and Knox Hill neighborhoods of Southeast DC. Complaints there are down 92.7% year-to-date.

And the location with the most rodent complaints this year?

That would be the Wilson Building, which houses the mayor’s and city council members’ offices.

Three of four cities see rodent complaint increases

RentHop analyzed data from four city’s 311 calls: Chicago, New York, DC, and Boston.

Rodent complaints are up in three of these cities, while they’re down in Boston.

Chicago is by far the nation’s rattiest city, with 60,054 rodent complaints year-to-date. New York is second with 25,985 complaints.

Last year, rodent complaints dipped in New York as the pandemic meant fewer people lived in the city, and its 311 system was often overwhelmed. This year, though, rodent complaints are up 28.7% in the Big Apple.

DC is third, well below Chicago and New York, in its number of rodent complaints this year.

The DC government urges people to call 311 to report rodent activity. And the city encourages residents to follow some steps to reduce the number of rats living in the District.

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