Rodent problems are a consequence of racist housing policies, poor urban planning, and poverty, experts have said in recent years about Baltimore’s rat population. “If codes are poorly enforced, rats have more places to hide,” says Dawn Biehler, an associate professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Biehler’s research has found that rats are a constant stress for residents and affect their quality of life. “They’re afraid to go out at night because there might be rats lurking around. It kind of makes them feel like they’ve been treated as trash,” she said.