Logan Circle rats running rampant due to neighborhood development

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Rampant development across the Logan Circle neighborhood could be the cause of a bothersome problem in the area -- rats.

"Construction is going to knock them out and into people's homes... We have had that problem -- it's pretty ugly!" says a building superintendent.

Many of the new structures here require digging deep and unearthing longtime rat lairs. This combined with the noise of all the heavy work is believed to be driving the rodents in search of new dwellings.

"They are under the cars, under the garbage bins no matter how neat it is," complains District resident Lorraine Hartigan.

People in the neighborhood say they have tried numerous methods, and you can spot plenty of traps that they have put out. But rat burrows appear to be too common, and the rat population is apparently so large that they just keep on coming.

Chronic complaints and pleas for help finally prompted city leaders, residents, and the business community to call a "rat summit" that was held on Thursday evening.

City officials explained it is a cleanliness issue, and while they do poison the rats, to have real success in getting rid of them, they need help from residents and businesses when it comes to trash.

Logan Circle has seen a lot of new residents and restaurants in recent years, which means more trash -- and more rats.

Folks like Stacee, who screamed in terror upon seeing one up close, hope a resolution comes soon.

"I'm freaking out! Why was it so close to me?" she shrieked.

"There are rats everywhere... in the sewers, in the streets, it is disgusting, it's a problem," says D.C. resident Laura Milstein.

City leaders and reps from the Departments of Health and Public Works will try to come up with methods for reining in the rampant rats.

In the meantime, residents for now are just hoping to set up a bunch of traps and hope for the best in a neighborhood that is among the most vibrant in the metro area.

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