Logan Circle rat infestation battled by local residents, businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJLA) - There's a pesky problem lurking in part of northwest Washington, a four legged infestation that has residents and businesses scurrying to fix.

Rats are running rampant along the 14th Street corridor.

"I think it scares people more than anything else," said 29-yearold Logan Circle resident John Fanning. "Some of them are sizes as big as squirrels, and some of them almost as big as cats.

Another local resident, Jane Unangst, worried about walking her four-legged friend in the area.

"I will not walk her down the alley because I don't know what she'll be encountering," she said of her pug.

Fanning is the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for Logan Circle and says the city is getting crushed by complaints, saying that they've received somewhere between 40 to 60 calls about the rats.

Restaurant alleyways soaked in grease and streets overflowing with trash are breeding grounds for the pesky neighbors.

"Frankly, we get sloppy," said resident Robert Maffin. "We don't take care of our city very well."

"It's a health issue," chimed in Unangst. "It's a huge health issue."

At the old Atlantic Garage site, you can see how rats are eating through sidewalks and sometimes gaining access into people's basements.

"Because of the demolition and the noise from the construction equipment, they're looking for new homes," said Fanning.

30-year resident Doll Gordon says enough is enough. "We have accumulated more than a dozen rats per day," she said.

While she appreciates the new development, she says it's time the district relocate the rodents.

"All over Washington, D.C., they have a lot of rats so we want them to really pay attention and dissolve the problem," Gordon said.

District leaders, public health officials and restaurant owners will all meet with residents for a citizen summit next month. They'll share their concerns and talk about how best to keep rodents out.

It'll take place on Oct. 17 at{ } 7 p.m. at the Washington Plaza Hotel at 10 Thomas Circle in Northwest Washington.