Dry ice seen as latest solution for rat problems

WASHINGTON D.C. – Dry ice is the newest strategy being used by D.C.’s Division of Public Works to tackle the city’s rat problem.

On Monday, the city demonstrated how workers are using dry ice pellets to fill rat holes then sealing the entrance. As the ice turns to gas it suffocates the rats.

Crews will continue to use the city’s 311 system in which calls and texts alert the government to problem areas to target rats with the dry ice method.

Cities like Chicago have used dry ice, were forced to stop and have since resumed.

“This has been tried in cities around the country,” said Tommy Wells, Director of the Department of Energy & Environment. “Currently the E.P.A. says a person can do this on their own property-- you're not prevented from doing that.”

Mayor Muriel Bowser and Councilman Charles Allen both stressed before Monday’s demonstration that education and enforcement are still the biggest tools in bringing down the rat population. Recently, there have been 250 citations written to businesses for things like poorly-stored trash and 400 to residents.