September 2015

Alderman’s Corner

Rodents and other critters: The war that never ends

As we have all seen throughout the Ward, there is a lot of construction happening! Whether it is the new residential developments, the commercial and industrial buildings being constructed or the infrastructure work, our Ward is seeing a lot of investment.

The City of Chicago is replacing 1,000 miles of water lines and 900 miles of sewer lines throughout the City. This work as well as the private developments are stirring up the rodents and other critters.

Our Ward 11 Streets and Sanitation team’s Rodent Control specialist have been baiting throughout the Ward. They place baits along the alleys, but putting down poison won’t get rid of rodents as long as they can picnic on our garbage.

We all need to do 3 basic steps to limit their food supply:

  1. Make sure garbage cans and recycling bins are tightly shut. Overflowing garbage attracts rodents and raccoons. Please call the Ward Office and report any private or commercial sites that are not taking care to seal up their garbage bins or dumpsters. And take a good look at your own black bins. If rodents have chewed a hole at the bottom of your garbage bin, please let our office know so your bin can be replaced. My staff is already surveying the alleys for bins that need replacement.
  2. Clean up after your pet–in the alley, on the street and in the park as well as in your own yard. And don’t forget that the parkway strip in front of your building is your responsibility as well! Dog poop is like caviar to rodents. Bags containing dog waste must be disposed of in a closed garbage bin, not left where rodents can find it.
  3. Bag up yard waste such as twigs, branches and weeds into a compostable brown bag for pick-up. A pile of decomposing yard waste invites rodents to move in. If you have a backyard compost pile, make sure it’s in a container, and do not add food scraps–especially meat–to compost.
  4. Landlords, stay vigilant about keeping your property clean and safe. That means monitoring the area around your building as well as the units to make sure there are no easy access points for rodents, and that any problems are dealt with quickly and effectively. Remember—this isn’t only the right thing to do for your tenants and our community—it’s also your obligation under the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance.

The fewer hiding and dining places for rodents, raccoons and other creatures, the better. Keeping the neighborhood clean is not just about rodents. We want to protect our property values and set a good example for our kids. That means picking up trash, even if it’s not trash we personally dropped, and getting together with the neighbors to clean up the block. Let’s make it obvious that we care about our community by taking care of it.

Our office (773-254-6677) can assist you with scheduling an inspection and treatment visit by the Rodent Control crew. They can suggest ways you can make your property less vulnerable to rat infestation. But it’s going to take the effort of everybody to beat the rodents, keep our community clean and protect our quality of life.