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Forge Tot lot rat tales trimmed by county inspectors

There is simply "no evidence to support the claim of widespread rodent activity" in or around the Rodgers Forge tot lot, according to Baltimore Code Enforcement.

That the word from the county answering community association complaints and media reports.

In response to a request from Councilman David Marks on behalf of the Rodgers Forge Community Association, code inspector Lionel Van Dommelen said he personally walked the area with another inspector on Monday, June 27.

The tour included sand boxes, swing and play areas, the areas around and under trees, shrubs and trash cans as well as other open areas of the playground, as well as the rear areas of the homes on both sides of the alley.

While they are certain that rats and other rodents exist in the Forge, Van Dommelen said, they found "no evidence of burrows, droppings or 'rat runs' on or near any portion of the area."

The only thing they saw that might be attractive to rats were several open-top, 55-gallon drum type trash cans on the tot lot property, he said.

These were covered with flies and were found to contain dirty diapers, discarded food items and animal feces.

"Our recommendation would be to remove these cans and encourage park goers to take these kinds of items home with them as they would certainly attract animals of some kind," he said.

Code Enforcement will deploy a third inspector into the area next week to take a closer look at other areas, Van Dommelen said.

Marks said he "very happy that Code Enforcement jumped quickly on this."

He hopes to bring Code Enforcement officials to the next Rodgers Forge meeting to discuss their findings, as well as things residents can do to reduce the likelihood of rats, he said.

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