Hampden’s infamous “city kitties”
Hampden has seen it all. From an influx of mill workers in the early 19th century to the artists and trendsetters that have brought a spate of boutiques and restaurants with them,
Hampden is almost unrecognizable from the gritty neighborhood it used to be.
One thing has not changed, however: the rats.
Alley rats are so prevalent in Hampden that some people call them “city kitties,” but don’t be fooled by a cute nickname: these are the same disease-ridden, quickly multiplying creatures they’ve always been.
So why do so many of them choose to call Hampden home? To an extent, Hampden is a victim of its own success, as all the great neighborhood restaurants lure these pests. Rats love high-protein foods like fried chicken, fish and even grease, which is exactly what Hampden’s eateries serve.
Here’s how it works:
These restaurants take all their delicious trash out to the dumpster in the alley. Many of these dumpsters are covered in rust and or have a drain pipe at the base without a screen, both of which let in crowds of rats. One dumpster filled with scraps can supply an enormous population of rats, since rats can forage for food up to 300 feet. That means any home or apartment within 300 feet of a dumpster is highly susceptible to these uninvited guests.
It’s understandable that homeowners would be reluctant to leave such a great neighborhood, but how can you help keep the rats away in Hampden?
- Avoid planting low-lying plants on your property
- Clean up litter and debris as soon as you see it
- Use well-maintained, metal trash cans and use a small bungee cord to secure the lid to the handle of the can (the garbage collectors like to use them as frisbees otherwise!)
- Take your love of birds outside Baltimore; having bird-feeders or bird seed on your property almost always leads to rat problems in Charm City. And that goes double for leaving food out for stray animals or wildlife.
The Rat Stuff
The brown rats seen all over Baltimore, and almost every other city in the world, are called Norway rats, but that’s a misnomer as they actually came from central Asia.
In addition to “city kitties,” people also refer to these rodents as sewer rats, street rats, alley rats or wharf rats, but regardless of what you call them, it’s wise to do everything in your power to keep them out of your home.
Once inside, they can wreak havoc by contaminating food, spreading salmonella, e-coli and hantavirus, they can bring fleas and ticks into your home, and they can even gnaw on pipes and the structural elements, causing serious damage.
Once you’re dealing with an active infestation, only the experts can get your home rat-free. Going the do-it-yourself route can leave you with dead rats in your walls and crawl spaces.
Our Integrated Pest Management approach rids your home of rats and prevents them from coming back.
If you live anywhere near one of Hampden’s restaurants, we strongly recommend contacting us for an inspection. Even if you don’t have rats, we can tell you the likeliest entry points and seal them off. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; call in the Brody Brothers for peace of mind against rats, rodents and other pests.