Evidence of rats: could you provide an opinion?

Asked February 1, 2016, 6:33 PM EST

Hello: I own a house in East Baltimore (I am the landlord). People in the neighborhood do not cover their trashcans and rats are rampant. In October, I received a citation because---according to the housing inspector--there was evidence that rats had gnawed on a solid, 6-inch high wall that holds up a chain link fence. The wall was chipped--but there was no penetration beneath the wall. There was some sandy gravel on the sidewalk near the chipped area---which the inspector pointed to as evidence. I went to court to fight the citation, armed with photographs showing that there was no penetration, and that this was indicative of normal weathering in an old wall. Keep in mind---this wall did not lead into a house or anywhere---I had seen rats running across the back patio coming to or from an open trashcan. Rats are intelligent (I used to have a mouse and my niece kept rats as pets) and would not engage in pointless behavior. Despite making my case with logic, the hearing examiner found me "guilty" and I paid a fine. I asked about an appeal but an appeal---even IF successful---would cost more than the fine--so I gave up on the appeal. However, I would like to get another, objective opinion. I have attached 3 of the 8 images. Thank you. Richard Karel, Baltimore, Maryland. Phone: (443) 808-0720.

Baltimore Maryland

1 Response

We do not have the expertise to assess whether the crumbling concrete is normal wear or not. (Or even if the concrete is crumbling at all and the debris is from the concrete.)

We recommend that you contact the DNR & UDSA Wildlife Hotline: 877-463-6497. They deal with nuisance wildlife and can provide you with information, including licensed wildlife control services that can visit and give professional opinions.

Since it is illegal in Baltimore to have a garbage can without a tight-fitting lid, we hope that all those lidless can owners also got citations.

You may be able to easily fill the crevices with cement patch to eliminate further issues with the site.