On February 23, 2024, the DC Department of Health (DC Health) relocated.
To protect the public health and safety of the residents and visitors of the District by reducing rodent activity and other vectors through proactive surveys, inspections, baiting, enforcement, community outreach and distribution of educational materials.
To be the public health guardian of the District, its residents and visitors by controlling rodent and vector activity through advance and innovative means.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a burrow?
A hole dug by a small animal.
Does the Rodent and Vector Control Unit use bait boxes to treat for rats?
Is the chemical used in rodent treatment harmful to kids and small animals?
To prevent small animals and children from coming into contact with the chemical, we cover the burrows after we treat the burrows.
Why can’t the inspectors treat my property daily?
In order for the chemical to effectively work, we give a window of 14 days to allow the chemical to fully take effect. This will also prevent the rat from developing a resistance to the chemical.
Does the Rodent and Vector Control Unit trap rodents?
Why do rats love dog waste?
Dog feces has a lot of nutrients.
Are old abandoned vehicles considered Rodent Harborage?
Yes, and should be removed immediately.
Does DC Health treat for bed bugs?
No. We provide education and have a limited supply of bed bug control spray and bed bug control bedsheets available, if requested.
Does DC Health inspect the inside of buildings for rodents?
Rodent Control Informational Videos
DC Health has established a comprehensive, sustainable and responsive rodent control and animal disease prevention program. This program will use an integrated approach that includes community outreach, surveys, abatement, enforcement and cooperation with other District agencies to protect human health and the environment.
The new model includes a centralized program core in DC Health and defines enforcement services for the Rodent Control and Food Protection Programs.
This program includes interagency communication to assure a citywide enforcement structure where each agency participates in achieving neighborhood goals for cleanliness, safety and healthy environments.
The Rodent and Vector Control Division conducts citywide outreach and education efforts through printed materials, TV, radio and print media using schools and public and private partners for distribution.
Rodent and Vector Control Division staff alerts the Division of Food and Division of Community Hygiene of specific areas where waste food sources contribute to rodent activity in residential neighborhoods or commercial neighborhoods. DC Health Food Protection Program will initiate enforcement at food establishments if needed.
DC Health abatement efforts utilize registered products to bait rodents in outdoor burrows on public property. DC Health also will bait private property if residents obtain signed petitions.
For complaints about rodents, residents should contact the Citywide Call Center at 311. When you contact the Citywide Call Center, please request the report to be sent to DC Health, and DC Health will receive the complaints (electronically). Control numbers are assigned to track DC Health responses over time.
- Rodent Control Tips for Business Owners
- Rodent Control Tips for Residents
- File a Complaint
- Rodent Control Service Petition Form
- Rodent Control Strategies for Property Managers
- Using Dumpsters to Prevent Rodent Problems
- Rodent Control Management Diagram
- Dry Ice Application for Rodent Abatement
- Rat Population Increase Notice
- The Changing Seasons
- Rat Riddance Initiative
***COVID 19 UPDATES***
COVID-19 Guidances and Best Practices: For the most up to date information on the District's response to COVID-19, including information on best practices, licensure waivers, and recommended guidelines, go to coronavirus.dc.gov.
PROCESSING CENTER Hours: The Health Regulation and Licensing Administration (HRLA) Processing Center is open to the public Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 am – 1 pm, and Wednesday, 9 am - 3:30 pm (except holidays).
All HRLA related documents should be mailed to 899 North Capitol Street NE Washington, DC 20002. Individuals may also call the Processing Center at 1 (877) 672-2174 to get an update on their pending application.