Rats beware: National Park Service and the D.C. Department of Health partner to combat rodent population in D.C. national parks

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Date: September 29, 2016
Contact: Mike Litterst (NPS), 202-245-4676
Contact: Emily Linroth (NPS), 202-619-7156
Contact: Jasmine Gossett (DOH), 202-442-9194

Washington –The National Park Service (NPS) today announced a partnership with the D.C. Department of Health (DOH) to better control the rodent populations in national parks in the District. Under the agreement, which takes effect on October 1, 2016, DOH staff will inspect and treat national parks throughout the city. Residents can now report rats in any national park to request treatment by calling the Citywide Call Center at 311.

The NPS and DOH partnership will increase the frequency with which rats are treated in parks and improve the citywide coordination to control the rodent population. Additionally, DOH will also provide recommendations for making the parks less habitable for rats.

"The National Park Service is committed to ensuring safe, positive experiences for visitors in all of our parks, and this agreement with the D.C. Department of Health provides us better tools to control the rodent population," said Robert Vogel, National Capital Regional Director for the National Park Service. "By simplifying the reporting process and decreasing the response time for treatment of affected areas, we are working together toward a rat-free D.C."

"We are extremely excited to partner with the National Park Service and maximize our opportunity to protect the public health and safety of the District's residents and visitors by reducing rodent activity through proactive surveys, inspections, baiting and enforcement," said Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director, DOH. "This adds to our citywide 'Rat Riddance' efforts that work to minimize the city's overall rat population."

Residents can play an important role in the fight. Ways that residents can help include:

●Placing all trash and food waste in trash cans

●Reporting sightings of rats or possible rat burrows to 311

●Cleaning up after pets and making sure waste is disposed of in a trash can

●Keeping your dog on a leash

For more information on reducing the rodent population in the District, please visit http://doh.dc.gov/service/rodent-control or email rat.riddance AT dc DOT gov.



Last updated: September 29, 2016

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