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Having fewer rats than D.C. is nothing to brag about

Baltimore County Code Enforcement unveiled a new mobile system earlier this year that will now allow citizens to register and track neighborhood nuisance issues such as overgrown lawns, uncovered garbage and rats online. Baltimore is not the only place with rat problems.
Baltimore County Code Enforcement unveiled a new mobile system earlier this year that will now allow citizens to register and track neighborhood nuisance issues such as overgrown lawns, uncovered garbage and rats online. Baltimore is not the only place with rat problems. (File photo)

Have we stooped so low in Baltimore that we take pride in having fewer rats than Washington D.C. (“Baltimore has fewer rats than D.C., and other important facts about the city’s long history fighting rodents," July 30)? Wow, I’m sure we can find better things to be proud of in Baltimore.

According to the 2018 Orkin report, Baltimore comes in at number nine on the company’s 2018 rankings. Furthermore, Baltimore dropped one slot from last year, when it was ranked eight. Two years ago it was number 6. So we are getting better.

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The problem in taking pride in having fewer rats than Washington is that we have more rats than 42 other cities. Rats have been around for a long time and getting rid of them is not an easy task.

I grew up on Boston Street in Canton across the street from the Gibbs packing house and the harbor, and we always had a rat problem. I’m talking big brown rats. Would have loved to have mice. The rats used to chew their way through the wall under the sink and behind the stove in the kitchen. And that was on the second floor, as we had the family nightclub below us which meant they crawled through the walls and floors to get there. Nasty teeth on those buggers. One of my jobs as a kid was to crawl through the crawlway under the house to retrieve the bodies when they died from the rat poison and started to smell. Wonderful childhood memory, especially when I pulled on the extension chord too hard and pulled it out of the socket. Pitch black with the rat. Now there is a memory.

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Anyway, let’s move on and find something else to take pride in as that is not a great bragging moment for the Charm City.

Stas. Chrzanowski, Baltimore

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