Skip Navigation

Image of the Baltimore County Historic Courthouse

COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates and Guidance

The County is taking a number of actions to keep residents safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Find status information for County operations and services.

Baltimore County News

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Keyword: rat eradication

Plans to Expand Will Include Ten Additional Neighborhoods

Residents, inspectors and community leaders agree that the County’s multi-pronged rat eradication pilot program has succeeded in controlling rodent infestations in 13 communities targeted last year for intensive extermination and education efforts and an extra trash collection each week. Building on that success, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced today that the County plans to expand the program to include 10 additional neighborhoods beginning this July.

“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, Ridgeleigh and Knettishall in the central portion of the County; Edmondson Heights and West Edmondale on the west side; 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 in concert 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.”

“I am delighted that communities in my district will be part of the County’s rat eradication program,” said 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk. “It is very exciting to know that the pilot program is proving to be effective.”

“I am very pleased that we are adding additional neighborhoods in my district to the rat eradication program,” said 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins.  “As I move around my district, there is nothing more important to my constituents than their quality of life, and ridding communities of rat infestation is a critical component of that effort.”

Community Engagement is Key

“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 and harborage for rats. The 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.”

Three stage pilot to target 9 neighborhoods at cost of $770,000

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced an enhanced rat eradication program this morning for nine communities in Baltimore County. The communities were selected after an analysis by Code Enforcement officials and discussions with County Council members and community leaders.  The Plan will provide intensive extermination treatment, increased trash pick-up, and educational follow-up to all homes in the pilot area.  The intensive extermination treatment will cost $170,000, as determined by a competitive bid award.  The increase in trash collection for the targeted areas will cost $600,000 annually, for a total pilot program cost of $770,000.

“We have been working closely with the County Council and community members over the past few months to take a fresh look at how the County can control the rat population,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “We believe that this multi-pronged approach will yield results, and by creating a pilot in 9 targeted neighborhoods, we can evaluate its effectiveness before expanding to other communities.”

The pilot will be comprised of three components. During Phase I, the County has selected two pest control companies to target nine neighborhoods with intensive treatment for eight weeks, with follow up treatments where needed.   Phase II will implement an additional weekly trash collection in these nine communities.   Phase III will involve working with community groups to increase education and to sponsor community cleanups. Baltimore County’s Department of Public Works will provide dumpsters to communities to assist in this effort.

“This is a really important initiative, and I am very pleased that the County will pilot the project before expanding it,” said 1st District Councilman and Council Chair Tom Quirk. “It will be interesting to see the results. It will be very exciting if we can move forward.”

“I am very appreciative that the administration has been so responsive and is willing to try a new approach to control the rat population,” said 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins. “This is a real quality of life issue for families in my district, and I will be monitoring the progress of this effort very closely.”

“This is very good news for my area,” said 7th District Councilman Todd Crandell.  “A lot of people are working very hard to combat this issue, and I am pleased that the County will dedicate additional resources to this fight.”

“The Riverview Community Association, is extremely pleased with the new proposed initiatives and we are more than ready to support and work with County Executive Kamenetz and Councilman Quirk in this effort,” said Ron Whitehead, President of the Riverview Community Association.

“Code enforcement and fines alone have not been as effective as desired,” Kamenetz said. “Partnerships like this and community education must be part of the solution to our trash and rodent problems, and give us pride in our neighborhoods.” 

Over the past three years, Baltimore County has spent $100,000 and eradicated nearly 16,000 properties.

The proposal will be discussed at the County Council work session on April 25 and voted on at the Council’s May 1 Legislative Session.

Revised September 11, 2017