What Washington D.C. Property Owners Need To Know About Rats


Rats continue to impact how humans live their lives, including right here in Washington, D.C. If you aren’t vigilant, a rat problem in your D.C. home can cause serious problems. Here’s all you need to know about rats, and how to prevent them, in Washington, D.C. properties. 

roof rat crawling in the grass

D.C.’s Rat Identification Guide 

You’ve probably seen rats around D.C., though these rodents can be confused with mice if they are very young. All rodents cause similar problems and require similar removal tactics, but let’s make sure you’re worried about rats, not a different pest. Like other rodents, rats have long, furry bodies, four legs, and small pinkish hands. They have narrow, triangular faces, and though they vary in size and color, they are notably bigger than mice. There are a couple of different rat species in Washington, D.C. 

  • Norway Rats: these pests grow to around 11 inches, have muddy brown coats, and are roundly shaped compared to other rats. 
  • Roof Rats: these pests grow to about 5-7 inches in length, and they are much darker and “pointier” than Norway rats 
  • Black Rats: these pests are similar in size to roof rats, but have a darker coat and a longer tail. 

Why Avoid Rats In Washington, D.C.

Rats cause two types of problems: home damage and disease spreading. These pests are your property’s worst enemy: they chew through wood, wires, plastic, and insulation in your home just to build their nests. The repairs from rat damage can cost thousands of dollars and ruin your property value. Rats also spread awful diseases such as leptospira, Bartonella, salmonella, hantavirus, and the plague. These pathogens are spread by eating your food, walking through your property, and leaving excrement throughout the house. By spreading odors and disease wherever they go, a rat problem gets worse the longer it remains. Clearly, rats have no place in your Washington, D.C. home. So how can you keep them out?

Washington, D.C. Rat Prevention Tips

Your best bet is to make your house as unattractive to rats (and other rodents) as possible. Rats are attracted to two things in your D.C. home: clutter and food. If your house has a lot of messes, such as piles of clothes or trash, rats will camp out and start their nests there. These chances increase if they have access to the trash or pantry. Make sure your food storage is tightly secured, keep your waste bins closed, and don’t leave food out. 
Despite these prevention efforts, rats still make their way inside Washington, D.C. properties. Because they can fit into very small holes and reproduce quickly, rats easily infest properties throughout Washington, D.C.. A rodent population will grow faster than you can get rid of it, and DIY extermination efforts are rarely comprehensive enough without professional support.
If rats have made a nest in your home, it’s unwise to remove it on your own. Contact Washington, D.C.’s local rat experts instead: Capitol Pest will make sure these furry pests never hurt the health of your family or home.

Tags: rat prevention | rat control | rat infestation |

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