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New billboard wants to save rats in Baltimore

Posted at 11:45 AM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-19 11:48:06-04

BALTIMORE — There's a new billboard in town and it's here to save the rats in Baltimore.

After President Donald Trump's recent comments on how Baltimore is a "rat and rodent infested mess," PETA wants to make sure city residents know that there is an effective and non deadly way to get rid of rats infesting the city.

RELATED: President Trump calls Rep. Elijah Cummings' Baltimore district "the Worst in the USA"

"Smart, social, resourceful rats who are just trying to eke out an existence suffer when entitled landlords neglect humane rodent-control measures," says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. "PETA encourages building managers to evict unwanted tiny tenants using only effective, nonlethal methods."

PETA says President Trump made rat comments about the city even though his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, owns several local apartment buildings where residents complain that there are rats. With the billboard, PETA wants to make a point that there's a difference between a "rich pest" and a poor fella [rat] just trying to survive on crumbs.

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With the organization's new campaign they are hoping to offer alternative ways to humanely control rodents they say feel pain like any other human. PETA says Johns Hopkins University researchers who studied rat populations suggest an effective way to control rat populations is to reduce the amount of food, water, and shelter available. They also say states such as New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., have launched pilot programs that give birth control in rat-populated areas instead of poison, rendering male rats infertile and causing females to reach menopause more quickly.

Here are their following tips:

  • Landlords should provide sturdy, well-sealed containers that rats can't chew through for all food waste and other garbage.
  • Guardians should feed animal companions indoors (and pick up the dishes when they've finished eating).
  • Property managers should trim back vegetation around buildings, stack wood in tight piles away from the house, and seal holes larger than a quarter inch in diameter, cracks in the walls and floors, and gaps around doors, windows, and plumbing.
  • After rat-proofing the building, residents should live-trap and remove any rats still inside. They can use a commercially available Havahart trap or make their own. They must check the trap hourly and release any captured rats within 100 yards of where they were caught.

The billboard is located on N. Gay Street, 120 feet south of the intersection with E. Saratoga Street, near City Hall, the Baltimore Central District Police Department, the District Court of Maryland, and the Housing Authority and City Department of Transportation offices.