Politics, Sci-Tech

Baltimore County rat eradication program set to expand

RatsBaltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced on Thursday that Baltimore County plans to expand its multi-faceted rat eradication program to include 10 additional neighborhoods beginning this July. The program initially rolled out to 13 Baltimore County communities in 2017.

“People shouldn’t have to live among rats and the feedback we’re getting is overwhelmingly positive that our enhanced comprehensive approach is working well in these targeted areas,” said Kamenetz. “We are eager to move forward in these remaining communities and expect to have similar results.”

The initial pilot program began last summer in 13 neighborhoods including Hillendale, Holland Hills, Riverview, West Inverness, Berkshire, Colgate, Eastwood, Hawthorne, Bear Creek, Eastfield/Stanbrook, North Point Village, Charlesmont, and Middlesex. These pilot areas received two, eight-week extermination treatments, increased pick-up and educational outreach on rat control tips. Additional trash collections and maintenance-level extermination efforts will continue in the initial pilot areas.

The expansion will include homes in ten new neighborhoods, including Loch Raven Village, Ridgley and Knettishall in the central portion of the County; Edmondson Heights and West Edmondale on the westside; and the eastside neighborhoods of Saint Helena, Yorkway/Cornwall, Country Ridge, Ballard Gardens, and Foxcroft.

Communities included in the initial and expanded pilot programs were selected based on an analysis by Code Enforcement officials together with discussions with county Council members and community leaders.

“This is good government at work bringing effective solutions to communities and I enthusiastically support this planned expansion,” said County Council Chair Julian Jones. “Our residents came to us with a problem and we have responded with a positive solution.”

“My neighbors and I in the Middlesex community are extremely pleased with the results and we appreciate the focused attention and follow-up maintenance we’ve received from the County,” said Clifford O’Connell, President of the Middlesex Community Association and leader of the Core Group, an umbrella group of some 15 to 20 community groups in the Essex, Middle River, and Dundalk areas.

The rat eradication effort also involves Code Enforcement and Public Works representatives working with community groups to increase education and to sponsor community clean-ups in order to reduce trash and debris that can provide a food source for rats. Baltimore County’s Department of Public Works will provide dumpsters to communities to assist in this effort.

“I commend the communities in the pilot program for their partnership in helping us get the word out to people about what they can do to deter rats and prevent them from returning,” Kamenetz said. “It’s all about community participation and neighborhood pride.”

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