More Crews, Garbage Bins To Help Tackle Chicago’s Rat Problem

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Emanuel Administration said it is greatly escalating its war on rats in Chicago.

Mayor Emanuel and crews from the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation discussed Wednesday the city’s plan to manage the rat problem in Chicago.

Mayor Emanuel said his proposed budget adds five more crews to those baiting, and otherwise getting rid of, rodents and to purchase over 10,000 new black garbage carts.

“When it comes to what happens with the rodents, we have made sure that we have our resources because we have a serious problem and we are going to put serious resources into that problem to fix it,” Emanuel said.

Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams said the fertility bait can reduce the rats’ reproduction.

“The black carts are another great tool in our fight against rodents and the additional funding for the 10,000 extra cart will go a long way in our neighborhood efforts,” Williams said.

“But we need the public’s help. If you see rodents, please reach out and put that complaint in with 311.”

The city will also use dry ice in some areas to suffocate the rodents. But he rejects suggestions from a couple of Aldermen to use feral cats to kill the rats. He said that could cause additional problems while trying to get rid of a problem.

“Because you’re taking a species, introducing it in an environment to get rid of another species. You are still going to be stuck with the cats and sometimes, those feral cats can be somewhat aggressive,” Williams said.

Both men urge city residents to use the 311 non-emergency number to call when they see rats in their area, so that crews will be sent out.

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