Time for county, locals to fight the war on rats – again
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 12:07

Areas that are scheduled for treatment will receive letters and posted signs such as this one on Boston Courts  photo by Ben Boehl

Treatments to begin in Boston Courts July 23

by Ben Boehl

    It’s that time of year again, when Baltimore County tries to control the rat population by asking Dundalk residents to pitch in.
    The county is asking residents to maintain their yards, remove any accumulated outside-stored items, not feed pets outside, remove all fallen fruit or vegetables, remove animal feces daily and use durable garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.
    Sometimes even that isn’t enough, so the county has to bring in a licensed pest control company to help eradicate the rats.
    Exterminators will be in Boston Courts and in the 1300 block of Delvale Avenue on July 23. Ives Lane, Searles Road, Manor Road, Westfield Road and the Holabird Avenue corridor are scheduled for treatment on July 30.
    “From there we will be moving to Bear Creek and down to the Cornwall Road area (in Watersedge), said Lionel Van Dommelen, chief of code enforcement for Baltimore County. “We will eventually get into the North Point Village and Turner Station communities.”
    The program is paid for by the county, and homes that will be treated should receive a letter from the county. Residents can refuse treatment if they desire.
    “Folks have the opportunity to opt out of the program if they have concerns about the well-being of their children or pets by submitting an opt-out form,” Van Dommelen said.
    However; if a home has been identified as a source of rats, the homeowners who opt out must get treatment from another exterminator at their own expense.
    The exterminator uses a powder called Ditrac that is placed deep into the rat burrow. The county said it usually takes a few days to a week to kill the rats. Pet owners are advised to keep pets indoors for about 10 days and to monitor the pets when they need to be outside during those 10 days.
    If a dead rat is found, residents are asked to spray it with a disinfectant mixture of 1⁄4 cup bleach and 2 cups of hot water. For disposal, the county recommends to wear gloves and not touch the rodent with bare hands. Next, use a shovel to place the dead rat into a sealable plastic bag and then place that bag into another sealable bag before placing it into a trash bag. Then wash the gloves and shovel with bleach and hot water.
    The Big Dan the Pest Man company has the contract with the county for this season’s rat treatments. The company was the subject of controversy earlier this year when some residents questioned whether their yards had been treated.
    “There were some allegations that some of [Big Dan the Pest Man’s] workers were missing a few homes and had problems with [the company’s] subcontractors,” Van Dommelen added. “He was able to work that out.”
    For more information on Baltimore County rat abatement, call 410-887-3351 or visit www.