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The photo on this placard caught Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's attention before a news conference about rat eradication Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (The Daily Record/Adam Bednar)

Baltimore rat eradication focused on alleys, not construction

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake shuddered as she prepared to speak with reporters about Baltimore’s rat eradication efforts.

The often poker-faced mayor had glimpsed a picture of vermin eating from a bag of trash left on the street.

The city’s new plan to deal with rats is based around the premise that it will target and wipe out rat burrows in every alley in the city every 20 days—the rodent’s gestation period.

Although construction projects often cause rats to leave their burrows and be more visible on the street, the new eradication effort won’t be focusing on construction sites.

The mayor said she feels builders have effective methods in place to handle rats during construction.

“Now when we do major construction, before that major construction is done, there is customarily treatment for rats. I can remember coming up when the Metro was being built and dug up all that space…it unearthed rat populations all along the Northwest corridor,” Rawlings-Blake said. “But I know the major projects that are going—that work is done ahead of time.”

About Adam Bednar

Adam Bednar covers real estate and development for The Daily Record.