Residents, Alderman Wage War on Rats

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Alderman Bob Fioretti proposes instituting New York program that acts as birth control for rats. Natalie Martinez reports.

    Chicago has a rat problem, and these days it’s worse than many have seen.

    "The rat problem in Chicago is terrible," said resident Dave Feinberg. "The rats are the size of cats and dogs."

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    Even many aldermen have seen the bold rodents in their travels.

    “I saw them in the early morning,” said Ald. Bob Fioretti. "I like to travel my wards and see what's happening at all different hours. The problem has been there."

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    Fioretti is among those disgusted by the rat invasion, and he said Thursday he wants to do more than baiting.

    “We are dealing with rats that multiply exponentially,” he said. “It's bad and getting bad.”

    Fioretti said as the colder months roll in, the rats begin to seek shelter in warmer places and suggested the city follow New York City’s lead for handling the problem.

    “New York transit has National Institue of Health grant for their transit systems on dealing with it,” he said. “It’s birth control for rats.”

    But residents are beyond waiting for the creatures to disappear.

    Feinberg said he began catching the rats himself. So far, Feinberg said he’s caught more than a dozen rats since he began hunting them in the city.

    “The only way to fix this is to fix what’s out there,” he said. “Alleys, empty lots – bait all you want. These rats are killer rats.”

    The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation advises city residents to put their garbage in sealed bins.

    “Individuals have to be careful,” said Fioretti. “Clean up after your pets. Dog poop is food. Bag and throw away.”