Despite the relative warm-up in temperature today, the city’s rat population has been struggling to survive during the recent frigid temperatures.
The Chicago Sun-Times spoke with a few people that have noticed dead rats, frozen stiff on the city streets.
So less rats are a good thing right? Not necessarily.
“The dead ones are dangerous to have around, if you think of rodents as a vector of disease, which they are,” said Janelle Iaccino who works for Uptown’s Rose Pest Solutions. “It’s scary when you think about dogs walking in alleys, if a dog puts the frozen rat in its mouth and thinks it’s a toy, now you have to take the dog to the vet.”
Iaccino has been using the SeeClickFix app to take pictures of dead rats which sends the information to the Streets and Sanitation Department.
“If you find a dead rodent and need to move it immediately, please do not touch it: use a shovel or broom to move it to your black garbage cart and DSS will dispose of it properly,” said Marjani Williams, a spokeswoman for the department. She recommends citizens that see dead rats to call 311 to handle them properly.
This issue is particularly hefty in Chicago which was ranked by Orkin as the number 1 rat infested city in the country based on the number of treatments the company had to perform.
Rats have become such a nuisance that one alderwoman has even resorted to covering up rat nest locations with concrete.