It’s Up! Negligent Landlords to Blame for Rat Tenants, Billboard Claims

PETA Offers Six Humane Control Measures That Actually Work

For Immediate Release:
August 19, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382


President Donald Trump called Baltimore a “rat and rodent infested mess,” even though his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, owns several local apartment buildings where residents complain that rats run rampant. Now, a PETA billboard is up in the city that makes the point that there’s a difference between a “rich pest” and a poor fella just trying to survive on crumbs.

“Smart, social, resourceful rats who are just trying to eke out an existence suffer when entitled landlords neglect humane rodent-control measures,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA encourages building managers to evict unwanted tiny tenants using only effective, nonlethal methods.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that rat mothers are excellent, protective caregivers who sing to their babies and that rats giggle when tickled and can feel as much pain as any other mammal, including humans. The group also offers the following tips for humane rodent control:

  • New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., have seen success with recently launched pilot programs administering ingestible birth control in rat-populated areas instead of poison, rendering male rats infertile and causing females to reach menopause more quickly.
  • Johns Hopkins University researchers who studied rat populations suggest that another effective way to control rat populations is to reduce the amount of food, water, and shelter available. Maryland law states that those removing animals from buildings must “employ the most humane method” available.
  • Landlords should provide sturdy, well-sealed containers that rats can’t chew through for all food waste and other garbage.
  • Guardians should feed animal companions indoors (and pick up the dishes when they’ve finished eating).
  • Property managers should trim back vegetation around buildings, stack wood in tight piles away from the house, and seal holes larger than a quarter inch in diameter, cracks in the walls and floors, and gaps around doors, windows, and plumbing.
  • After rat-proofing the building, residents should live-trap and remove any rats still inside. They can use a commercially available Havahart trap or make their own. They must check the trap hourly and release any captured rats within 100 yards of where they were caught.

The billboard is located on N. Gay Street, 120 feet south of the intersection with E. Saratoga Street, near City Hall, the Baltimore Central District Police Department, the District Court of Maryland, and the Housing Authority and City Department of Transportation offices.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

Note: PETA supports animal rights and opposes all forms of animal exploitation and educates the public on those issues. PETA does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign in support of or in opposition to any candidate for public office or any political party.


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