A well-known Chicago businessman is waging war on the rats next door, saying the problem has never been worse and the city is doing little to fix it.
Ismat Deletioglu is beside himself. He said Tuesday that the Lincoln Park property next to his home has become a haven for rats.
“Every day, they are coming next to your leg like a cat and they look at you. And they pose for you. And I don’t know what to do,” he said.
His son Abraham Deletioglu said the rats have now gone underground, digging out burrows to stay warm in the winter time.
“On a hot summer’s day, it’s really bad. Between the smell from the rats… it’s just horrible. You can’t breathe.” Abraham Deletioglu said, adding that he has been documenting the problem on his iPhone.
“They are underneath the tree, nesting,” he said. “They are digging out, burrowing. You can see this one that’s stuck inside and outside.”
The building in question houses a set of bank ATM’s and a convenience store, but neighbors said the problem isn’t food. There are well kept dumpsters behind the store, but it’s the vacant space behind the ATMs where no one ever goes that are the root of the problem.
“For many years, we have been talking to the management to try to help us get it cleaned up on their side,” Abraham Deletioglu said. “It’s getting worse and worse and worse.”
Along the fencing separating the properties, the family has installed pipes and wood to keep the rats at bay.
They said they have called the City and the building’s owner, but have gotten little response addressing the cause of the problem that they said could eventually affect the health of neighborhood children.
Ald. Michele Smith of the 43rd Ward was tied up in budget meetings Tuesday and unavailable to comment, her office said, and the owner of the building did not respond to multiple calls.