I just wanted to follow-up on my previous post about the rat problem. Adams Morgan has come a long way in addressing pest control, but there is still more that each of us can do.
Because rats rarely travel more than 100 feet for sustenance, we can end rat infestations by cutting off their access to food and water. Rats love mullberry and chokeberry plants, so we have to be vigilant about protecting areas where these plants thrive. But brown rats in the neighborhood have also developed a taste for apples, cat food, dog food and even lawn seed, so keep these inside or at least covered.
Search outdoor greenspaces for rat burrows and treat each one with any of the one-time or multiple-use anticoagulants on the market. If you pets be careful not to expose them to the poisoned burrows. For those comfortable using snap traps, peanut butter is a better bait than cheese because rats are grain feeders.
Each house should perform its own rodent audit. Check all around your house from the ground up to 3 feet up for any open crevices where rats could enter your house or find a place to nest. Pay particular attention to utility boxes where outside cables run through your home. Examine the exterior of your foundation and fill any openings with a concrete or sakrete compound mix. You can also use liquid styrofoam in a can which doubles as an insulator. The rubber seals at the corner of garage doors are other places to check for signs of a rodent problem.
Finally, we have to make sure that all commercial dumpsters are rat-proof. This is actually easier and less expensive than you may think. Nearly all commercial dumpsters have a drain plug for drainage and cleaning. Often when these dumpsters are cleaned out, they plugs aren’t replaced! And as a results rats and other pests get easy access to the garbage.
These are just a few ideas I’ve gathered in the course of my research and conversations on rat control policy. But before tackling the problem on your own, be sure to contact a certified rodent control specialist before taking. Also, check out the DC gov’s Health Regulation and Licensing Administration Rodent Control website which has a link for submitting complaints to DC investigators.