D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to tackle the city rodent issue after a 65 percent increase in complaints last year.

The number of requests for rodent abatement increased by 65 percent from 2,300 in 2015 to more than 3,500 in 2016, according to the Mayor’s office.

Mayor Muriel Bowser addressed the issue Thursday in a press conference, highlighting programs the city plans to use to reduce the rodent population.

Plans include deploying 25 solar trash cans and 400 smart litter bins in rat hotspots around the District, and a grant that offers up to $13,500 for businesses to purchase or lease a commercial compactor.

“One of the most important ways we are moving D.C. forward is by investing in initiatives and technology that make our city healthier and cleaner,” Mayor Bowser said.

The Mayor announced ways D.C. resident can help reduce the rat population:

  • store garbage in metal or heavy plastic containers with tight-fitting lids;
  • place trash outside shortly before pickup, instead of days in advance;
  • remove weeds and debris near buildings and in yards where rats can easily hide;
  • store food that has been removed from its original packaging in metal, glass, or heavy-duty plastic containers with tight fitting lids,
  • remove uneaten pet food and store pet food in secure containers; and
  • report rodent issues in your neighborhood, by calling or texting 311.

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