Legislation Is Latest Effort to Combat Rodent Concerns

Legislation Is Latest Effort to Combat Rodent Concerns

New legislation was passed on Monday by the County Council that means any property owners who wish to raze buildings in Baltimore County will have to prove they are rodent-free before moving forward with the demolition.

This bill was passes out of frustration over the ever-increasing rodent issue in the city.

“This was a necessary step as we continue to develop an overall comprehensive solution to address rodents in the county,” said County Councilman Todd Crandell, a Dundalk Republican, who sponsored the bill.

According to the bill, a person who want to raze, move or remove a building must submit with the application for a permit a statement from a certified pest control technician that appropriate rat eradication measures have been taken and the property is rat-free.

The on-going rat problem is a safety and public health issue.

“This is a public health and safety issue,” Crandell said. “Just like we have electricians sign off on power being shut off correctly, we need a professional to verify a property is rat free. Not in all cases, but in some instances, property owners were not being honest in regard to rodents.”

Sanitation is a huge part of the issue. The main contributor to rodent population growth continues to be the mishandling by residents of the items that rats feed on, mostly trash, animal feed and feces.

According to Baltimore County code enforcement officials, a combined 68,276 properties have been inspected to date since the beginning of 2016. During the same time, county exterminators have treated 12,318 homes. County code enforcement officers have performed 33 rodent sweeps, issued 2,092 citations and 137 correction notices to date in 2017.

“This issue can’t be addressed by any one group,” Crandell said. “It will take a community effort. It requires residents to keep lids on their trash cans and pick up their dog’s waste to eliminate food sources for rats along with additional code enforcement and extermination efforts by the county.”

Original report on WBALTV.com

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