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Added Apr 19 2018

We did our spring RAT PATROL walk on Good Friday in the 6-8 block area we focus on cleaning up. They were pleasantly surprised at how much better this area is! We had a very low RAT HOLE COUNT. It is the lowest ever. A couple seniors came out of their house and thanked RAT PATROL.

It has taken quite a few years to get rats under control. Josie Cruze has helped us for about 5 years and now we have very few rats!

it is an effort involving: 1. Baiting, 2. Getting Garbage cans. #. Replacing damaged cans. 4. having Safer clean alleys, streets, parkways, vacant lots. 5. Getting weed spray.6. getting forestry to pick up branches. 7. getting flydup0ed tires, construction debris, trees, etc removed.

We now are at the point where we need CPd to issue citations for can theft, can rummaging, littering, using COMMUNITY CONCERNS and CITY SERVICES directive to continually have Beat and Patrol cars order the city service we need as well as gang/drug issues.

Everyone said this clean up could never be done. WELL...it is done!

  • Very interested to hear more about successful efforts with rats. I am not familiar with "Rat Patrol" . Is this a City of Chicago thing or a grassroots group? Your post is very encouraging especially given above freezing days are in the forecast. Thank you.

  • gpblight 22 Yr East Garfield Resident

    Hi, Streets and San has a department that baits for Rats. What would u like to know?

  • Thank you gpblight. Is there a Rat Patrol that helps organize neighbors to work together to get these creatures under control? Last year the rats in our alleys and yards were bolder than the year before. Not sure that simply baiting is the answer and I do not have confidence in our interior pest service when it comes to city rats.

    I liked the idea of dry ice at first but had trouble finding where to get it and was concerned that it might be a rabbit hole and not a rat hole...not to mention the guilt of suffocating a living thing.

    Feral Cats is also a favorite. Even though they sometime catch birds as well as rats.

    So my point is, I am looking for experienced professionals to help our neighborhood with what I imagine will be a greater problem this year than last.

    Thank you so much for your help.

  • gpblight 22 Yr East Garfield Resident

    Where are you? Approx address?

    Hi G, email josie.cruz@cityofchicago.org and ask her to contact you.

    1. Ask her to bait your entire alley
    2. Ask her to replace broken garbage cans
    3. Ask her to replace stolen cans.
    4. Ask if Tommy and Tom can be the crew she sends.

    It works best if you walk with them AND ask that neighbors open their yards so yards can be baited. Neighbors with messy/dirty/dog dirt will not be happy about this. Yards with small kids and dogs cannot get baited. If she gives you a date get everyone ready. Typically Rat Patrol starts at after 7am.

    You will also need to contact your regional garbage supervisor and ask that the garbage crews get rid of stuff sitting like mattresses, tires, toilets, tvs, construction fly dumping, branches, etc. If it is really bad ask for a SAFER crew to come and clean first. They would also need to clean vacant lots that are a mess, parkways, curbs, alleys.

    If you have a bad infestation perhaps do another RAT WALK in 2-3 weeks and another in a month. We started with 550 active holes on half of a block. We are now down to say 10. We were a test and they came twice a week for 10 months. the infestation was bad.

    Food sources need to be removed. Regular clean up has to be done. it is hard to get neighbors on the same page; especially if they are dirty. One neighbor still won't talk to me.

    GLAD someone is interested in STEPS to solve a problem. It is actually easy. It just takes rote repetition. It takes a wholistic view of every piece that plays a role in attracting rats.I t requires forcing union workers to do a GREAT job.

  • gpblight 22 Yr East Garfield Resident

    Feral cats are a bad idea. They carry disease. They multiply FAST and are a unique pest themselves. do a search and you can see problems with them. The EPA guy told me they carried the Bubonic Plague in europe. With Humane society and EPa saying ferral cats are not good...I am on board with them.

    Post your experience. Learning how to do things in a way the job gets done is important in a place run like Chicago.

  • gpblight: Great information. We are in the 1500 West blocks of Van Buren, Jackson, Adams and Monroe. We are on Adams which is part of the Jackson Blvd Historic District. Lots of old row-houses with Salvation Army's vacant facility on Monroe, vacant Church of the Epiphany and Chase House on Ashland and a new industrial tear-down at Adams and Laflin. Lots of reasons for the rat population to grow.

    I will study your details over the weekend, put together a plan and enlist the help of our wonderful neighbors and the new developers of the vacant buildings who are probably dying to figure out ways to be a good neighbor..

    Thank you so much.

  • gpblight 22 Yr East Garfield Resident

    Yikes! Tear downs always scatter the rat population as they look for a new home.

    This is actually pretty easy. It just takes setting up the steps, executing the steps, and rotely doing the same over and over and over.

    This year I may only have to walk 3 times instead of 8 times. IF we can keep the stuff off the ground and alleys clean.

    We were a REAL MESS with 550 active holes on half a block, once upon a time.

    Post the steps you did. What happened. It is always good to SHARE steps that work.

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Posted to Ward 28

This was posted to Ward 28

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