Oh, rats! Chicago considered ‘rat capital’ of U.S.

On the farm or in the big city, rats are obnoxious wherever they go. Now, a recent study has pinpointed where in the U.S. they seem to be most prominent: Chicago, with the highest number of rat-related public health complaints at 50,963 in 2017.

Not only that, but Chicago’s rat problem seems to be growing. In 2014, just 32,855 rat complaints were issued — 55% less than the most recent figure. Following the Windy City in number of complaints are New York City, Washington D.C., and Boston.

Rat complaints were more frequent in warmer months, so the researchers involved theorize that Chicago’s spike in rat activity can be blamed on 2016’s mild winter (compared to years past).

The report advises residents to securely tie, and properly dispose of, all trash bags in order to decrease the chance of an infestation.

How building management can prevent rodent infestation

Rats and other rodents, like mice, can spread disease and cause allergic reactions among humans and animals. There are steps that can be taken to mitigate the problem in a way that’s safe for residents.

Monitoring. It’s important to regularly evaluate the property for signs of pest activity, or for building conditions that might make infestations more likely.

Use bait stations. Bait stations are boxes or tubes designed to allow a rodent to enter and consume the bait, while preventing larger animals and children from reaching inside. These can be placed strategically around the building by management, or with the help of a professional pest control service.

Apply rodenticides. Keep bait in an area that rodents frequent. Attics or crawlspaces make ideal places for bait.

Trash control. Communal dumpsters should be raised from the ground, and the area should be maintained to ensure trash bags are placed inside with the lid closed, not on the ground nearby.

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