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Rat Control

Rats have a negative impact on human health, economics and the quality of life for thousands of years.  They can destroy food supplies, or your home garden.  Most importantly, they can transmit disease, which can be a problem for the entire community.  Baltimore County strictly enforces the Baltimore County Code requirements regarding rats.

  • YOU are responsible for your own property.
  • Complaints are investigated.
  • A “Notice of Violation” or a “Code Enforcement Citation” may be issued.

Fines or other legal action may result.

Are you inviting rats?

Eliminate hiding and breeding places.  Keep your yard free of trash, debris, high grass or accumulation of building supplies.

Don’t feed the rats.

Rats are drawn to food sources and safe sites to dig burrows.  You may not realize that pet food, dog manure, open garbage cans or cans without tight fitting lids, bags of garbage, bird seed or food scraps left outside are open invitations for rats to visit you and establish a home in your yard.  Never put household garbage or food scraps in compost piles.

Cut off their water supply.

Dump pails, unused flower pots, toys or equipment in which water can accumulate.  Any standing water also provides a breeding area for mosquitoes during summer months.

Protect your home.

Rats can slip through spaces of ½ inch and are energetic diggers.  Close any holes you find in the foundation of your house, eliminate cavities under steps, sidewalks or porches.  Close threshold gaps at exterior doors.  Provide a heavy ¼ inch mesh screen over sump pump outlets, or a tight fitting lid on your sump pump well.

Think about your own activities.

Be sure to clean up any outside eating areas.  Minimize spillage around the BBQ.  Greasy residue on a patio or porch, or food residue allowed to build up on cooking equipment for extended periods of time may attract rats.

Feeding of wild animals, such as birds and squirrels should cease and vegetable gardens, or even fruit trees, may have to be removed for rat abatement measures to be effective.


Talk to your family and your neighbors.  They may not realize that a problem exists.  Rat infestations must be addressed by everyone if they are to be successfully controlled or eliminated.

Take actions immediately

When you see a rat, rat run or rat burrow, take action immediately.  The problem won’t go away.  Fill in a rat burrow with wadded newspaper to see if it reopens, indicating an ongoing infestation.  You should take measures to exterminate the existing population.  Many bait stations or trap products are available at local hardware and lawn and garden stores.  You may wish to utilize a certified professional pest control operator.  Just remember, any abatement must be accompanied by a continuing effort you your part.

How you can help

Rats are a community problem that must be addressed by all residents.  When a rat infestation exists at one location, it may easily spread to adjacent properties.  Residents are encouraged to contact the County regarding rats at 410-887-RATS (7287) or by using the on-line complaint form on the web site www.baltimorecountymdgov/go/ridrats.