BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If you’ve been seeing more rats than usual in your part of town, the Baltimore Department of Public Works might be able to help.

The Norway rat is the most common in Baltimore. The DPW said the critters are a source of disease and can cause property damage.

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Rat rubouts involve identifying infestations and baiting rats. If you suspect an infestation in your area or even in your house, call 311 and an inspector will examine the property.

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If the rat rubout inspector determines if there is a rat burrow. If there is a rat burrow, they will place a poisonous bait deep inside the burrow. It needs to be in a burrow so that pets cannot reach the poison. While it won’t kill them, it can make them sick.

The DPW says the best way to avoid a rat infestation is to take these preventative measures:

  • Use a trashcan with a tight-fitting lid to deprive rats of food
  • Remove leftover pet food and pet waste from your yard
  • Remove old furniture and appliances from your yard to avoid giving rats a home
  • Keep grass short to eliminate hiding places for rats
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CBS Baltimore Staff