Bright yellow signs warning residents of rats are posted throughout Rogers Park. According to a list compiled by Orkin, a pest control company, Chicago holds the top spot for “rattiest city.”
Nicholas Sudduth, 24, browses the City of Chicago web site for information on rats. Sudduth, a Rogers Park resident, has had issues with rats in his apartment lately. Through his research he has found that rats are responsible for carrying many germs.
Garbage cans line the alley behind Sudduth’s apartment building. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, poor sanitation and garbage is a primary reason for rats to take up residence in a certain area.
Sudduth is using D’Con, a type of poison, in his basement unit apartment to limit the number of rats in his building.
The CVS near Sudduth’s home also offers various solutions to rats, such as traps.
Sudduth works at a music venue in the River North neighborhood that occasionally requires him to watch equipment at a loading dock under the streets of Chicago. This environment is home to many rats, which Sudduth constantly sees while on the clock.
A dead rat lays under the glowing light of the dock. Chicago is home to the Norway rat. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Norway rat are “husky, brownish rodents that weigh about 11 ounces. They are about 13 to 18 inches long including the 6 to 8 1/2 inch tail.”
“Every single day when I’m working on the dock there are a whole bunch of big fat rats that run around there. I think they’re down there because that’s where the garbage for us and two hotels in downtown Chicago is,” said Sudduth.
Industrial rat traps can also be found at the dock. These traps can be used over and over again, which is helpful for businesses facing a serious rat problem.
Feral cats, a type of stray cat unable to live a domesticated lifestyle that are usually euthanized, have been placed in the dock area to help with the rat problems as a part of the Tree House Humane Society’s Cats Work program.
Chicago was recently named the “rattiest city in the US,” by Orkin
, a pest control company who tallied up the number of rat-related jobs they had throughout 2014 in individual cities. With bright yellow signs littering street corners, warning residents of rats, there’s no denying the truth in this finding.
“The rats are really gross,” said Nicholas Sudduth, a 24-year-old music venue security guard who has had issues with rats both at his home in Rogers Park and at his work in River North. “They’re big and smelly and they run really fast.”
According to the City of Chicago, the city is home for the Norway rat, which is brown and large in size, tends to travel in packs and has a life span of 6 to 10 months. These rats are attracted to fresh food, garbage, animal feces and more, and pose serious threats to Chicago residents as they carry a number of diseases.
Through the use of rat poison, traps and even feral cats, Sudduth and other Chicago residents have attempted to solve this problem and make Chicago a little less “ratty.”