Chicago Named New “Rat Capital” Of United States, Surpassing New York City
Move over New York City, the rats have claimed Chicago as their new capital.
This revelation came from RentHop, an online apartment-search service, they studied four major cities to find out which one had the worst rat problem. The Windy City came out on top, there were 50,963 rat complaints in 2017. That comes out to be 1,876.09 complaints per 100,000 residents. It was a 55.1% increase since 2014.
“The abundance of garbage and buildings in The Windy City makes it a great location for these rats to seek shelter and food for survival,” according to RentHop. “The presence of these furry critters poses a threat to city dwellers due to the fact that they are capable of spreading diseases and cause allergic reactions to humans and animals.”
New York City came in second place with 19,152 complaints, Washington D.C. had 5,036, and Boston came in fourth with only 2,488 complaints.
Logan Square, Englewood and West Ridges were the neighborhoods in Chicago with the most complaints. Printers Row, Riverdale and Oakland had the least amount of complaints. “Most of the neighborhoods with a higher concentration of rat complaints coincide with the neighborhoods with a higher concentration of dog poop,” RentHop concluded.
However, the Chicago Streets and Sanitation department does not believe that the number of rat complaints gives the correct indication of how many rats are in the city. “Rodent complaints are not an accurate indicator of the rat population in an area; however, they do show that Chicagoans care about the health and safety of their communities,” spokeswoman Marjani Williams tell The Tribune. “[Streets and Sanitation] encourages residents to report rodent activity to 311 so that our crews can quickly investigate and address every sighting.”
The department is currently conduction preventive baiting, as well as a procedure where they place dry ice into the rats’ burrows in parks to suffocate them.