Trendy new restaurant hubs across Washington, D.C., are causing a rodent problem across neighborhoods in the nation’s capital.
The District’s booming restaurant scene is causing the city to grapple with how to combat the increase in the number of rodents, the Washington Post reported Thurday. There were 5,310 rodent complaints in 2017, a 50 percent increase from 2016. The number of complaints is expected to increase in 2018.
“The rats are in some ways a byproduct of the success of the city,” said Jack Evans, a D.C. Council member, according to the Washington Post. (RELATED: Artist Re-Imagines Famous World Leaders As Hipsters)
Neighborhoods with trendy new restaurants caused the number of rodent complaints to increase. The Washington, D.C., neighborhood Shaw saw a 436 percent increase in rodents, Columbia Heights saw a 449 percent increase, and Capitol Hill saw a 430 percent increase from 2014 to 2017.
Washington, D.C., neighborhoods saw a 25 to 74 percent increase in rodent complaints, which is supposed to stay the same or increase in 2018.
The highest number of rodent complaints in 2017 alone were from residents in Petworth, Columbia Heights, Capitol Hill, Near Northeast, 16th Street Heights, Logan Circle, Park View, U Street and Shaw. These numbers made up 43 percent of complaints.
Officials started using dry ice to suffocate rats and solar trash cans dubbed “rat hot spots,” the Washington Post reported.
Washington’s population surpassed 700,000 in 2018, Evans added.
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