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City of Chicago Forming 'Rodent Task Force' to Combat Rat Problem

The city is adding more resources to help prevent and reduce rat infestations

Chicago is stepping up its efforts to combat one of its greatest enemies: rats. Yesterday, the city announced the creation of the Rodent Task Force — a public education initiative that "will focus on residents becoming a part of the solution," according to the mayor's office. In addition, the city has added 10 crews to the Bureau of Rodent Control, which will help reduce the response time for baiting requests to five days.

Residents can also request new garbage carts or ask that the city demolish dilapidated garages and storage sheds as a preventative measure. The city is also asking pet owners to be responsible for their animals and clean up any waste left in yards or public spaces.

In the announcement from the mayor's office, a few tips for preventing rodent infestations are laid out. For example, residents should consider the following:

· Keeping garbage contained within closed carts, bins or dumpsters

· Cleaning up after pets and making sure waste is disposed in sealed containers

· Not leaving uncovered pet food outdoors

· Removing old tires, lumber or other debris piles

· Weeding and throwing away rotting fruits and vegetables from gardens

· Maintaining bird feeders