"In their normal grooming process, they will ingest this Ditrac powder and it will take about five to seven days to kill them," Dommelen said. "Typically, they tend to die in their burrows."

After the exterminator is done treating the area, the county will begin performing "trash sweeps" in an effort to prevent any recurrences and ticketing residents who are still not storing trash properly.

County representatives will inspect the area and issue tickets for four weeks following the first trash sweep. It's expected that continued monitoring will create positive changes in the community.

"We find that the number of tickets we issue decreases each week," Dommelen said, noting that residents adjust their trash disposal habits to be less rat-friendly.


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Harriet Pitman, a Riverview resident, said that even after purchasing rat poison and setting traps, she is still seeing rats all around the neighborhood.

"I think we're keeping them down in the block here as best we can, but they're still coming in," Pitman said.

Pitman said she is relieved that the county is coming in to take over.

"It is terrible. They eat holes in the plastic trash cans," she said. "They're big, and they do need to be treated, and I'm glad they're getting out here to do something about it."

While Whitehead was disappointed with the length of time it took for Baltimore County to address the problem, Dommelen said communities were addressed based on number of complaints and accessibility to affected properties.

"There's a large part of the community which has overgrowth in the rear of the properties," Dommelen said of Riverview. "So that would make it very difficult for him (the exterminator) in the summertime."

First District Councilman Tom Quirk, who represents the area, has worked extensively with Whitehead to bring the program to Riverview.

"This is something that I know Ron's community has been wanting for a long time," Quirk said.

The Huntsmoor community of Arbutus had a rat eradication attack take place last August, according to a county release.

It did take longer than we had ideally hoped for, but it's finally moving forward," Quirk said, "I'm very happy that we can finally make this happen."