Chicago Rats Infestation Control

Keep Chicago Rats In The Cold This Winter

Recently, Chicago has been named the "rat capital" of the United States, a designation that Chicagoans are expectedly not very thrilled about

Apartment search service, RentHop, after examining the number of rat complains between Chicago and 3 other cities in 2017, has dubbed the second city as having the most rat complaints in the study.

Chicago Rodent Infestations Top US Cities

The findings have cited Chicago having a staggering 50.9k complaints in 2017 alone, dwarfing New York City's 19.1k complaints, Washington D.C.'s 5k and Boston's 2.4k.<.p>

The key factor contributing to Chicago's serious rat infestation appears to come from the wealth of garbage and buildings throughout Chicagoland, lending countless locations for Chicago rats to find shelter and food needed for long term survival.

Characteristics Of Chicago's Rat Infestation Woes

The rats that scour Chicago streets are a brown breed known as a Norway rat.

Chicago Rodent Problems Highest in Nation

Brown rats like those found in our city are extremely successful at defending their turf. This territorial breed has edged out other species throughout the city, contributing to massive increase in population and infestations year over year.

With an average life cycle of 6 months to a year, rats in Chicago begin reproduction typically as early as 3 months old.

Brown rats can produce as many as 80 offspring in this relatively short life span.

Standouts in both swimming and climbing during late night hours, Chicago rats rank as among the smartest rodent breeds in existence.

Field Mouse Prevention For Chicago Suburbs

Chicagoland Field Mouse Prevention

While full scale rat infestations may be typical to the cities surrounding Chicago, many Chicagoland suburbs find a different type of rodent problem.

Field mouse infestations are commonplace in many Illinois suburbs, as the winter months drive mice into warm buildings and homes.

Homeowners and property managers should look for the following conditions to identify and combat mouse infestations

  • Droppings
  • Footprints and tracks in low traffic, dusty areas
  • Gnawing / chew marks on soft paper materials (cardboard, insulation)
  • Musky odors associated with house and field mice
Field Mice in Illinois

Field mice are rarely spotted during daytime hours, as like the rodents plaguing Chicago, they are most active during night and early morning hours

Also referred to as a house mouse, field mice typically have grayish brown coats, enlarged ears and small eyes.

The diet of a field mouse typically consists of grain, but they also resourcefully are open to consuming a variety of other foods.

Female field mice can amass up to 10 litter in a lifetime, which equates to nearly 60 offspring per life cycle.

The best techniques for preventing a field mouse infestation relies on consistent sanitation, mouse-proof construction, and effective deterrents which come in a range of traps and baits.

Bald Faced Horents Entering Nest

Keeping areas sanitized will rarely reduce all risk to mice infestation, having a cluttered, unsanitary area in a building will always attract Chicago rats and allow reproduction in high numbers.

Practicing clean sanitary measures will reduce the shells and access to food for any Chicago rats that penetrated the building, which will prevent further repopulation.

A mouse proof construction focuses on eliminating all small cracks and holes in any structure.

Mouse proofing a building can be done even several years after construction, something that Starks Pest Control incorporates in all rodent service calls.

Identifying Rodent Problems Through Prevention

Following the first 2 steps in rodent prevention leaves the implementation of traps and baits, which work in conjunction with the first measures.

Effective traps and rodent bait will reduce existing populations and deter future rat infestations from occurring.

Signs of Rat Infestations

Signs Of Severe Rat Infestations

Because rodents are most active during the late night to early morning hours, identifying the signs of an infestation usually serves as the main indication that a rat problem exists.

The below list serves as the most common signs associated with rat infestation.

  • Footprints - Often rodents will leave these in dusty, low traffic areas in a building.
  • Rat Droppings - Dark brown and spindle shaped droppings looking similar to rice grains
  • Rat Nests - Rodents scavenger soft materials like cardboard to create nests, any signs of torn materials are a possible indication.
  • Scratching Sounds - Sounds of climbing in walls or ceilings are clear signs of rats at work
  • Rat Holes - A part of extensive burrowing, holes can indicate food storage or nesting.

DIY Solutions For Rat Infestations

Preventative pest control has captured the attention of many Chicagoans facing rat infestations with no sign of relief.

Preventative Home Pest Inspection

The first measure to take when employing self-service pest control relies on a deep inspection of the building and perimeter.

Starks Pest Control offers free estimates that include such inspection, but many homeowners and property managers are encouraged to do so on their own as well.

Once conducting a deep inspection, the location of the rat infestation will become apparent, giving prime locations for bait and traps to be placed.

Because Chicago rats have high awareness of their environments, traps and baits will likely go untouched for the first following days, as the rats become trusting of the new elements.

Many rodent problems can be resolved through preventative pest control and self-service measures done by individuals open to taking a DIY approach to their rat infestation, or vulnerability to an issue.

Any rat problems that are not resolved through these methods require a professional assessment, which we will be happy to do free of charge.

Leaving Rat Infestations Unchecked Can Be Deadly

A festering rodent infestation can result in the spread of several diseases and conditions that may lead to severe illness and even death in extreme cases.

Rat Borne Illness and Disease

The bubonic plague has the reputation for being the most catastrophic rat-borne disease i recorded history.

This disease occurs through fleas from rodents biting human beings.

In the Middle Ages, these fleas were considered the source of the bubonic plague that killed millions of human beings.

Rat urine has proven to be the main contributing factor in the development of leptospirosis in humans.

Leptospirosis results in liver and kidney damage and can also be transmitted through exposure to rodent droppings.

Renal failure and liver failure are extreme complications to Leptospirosis, as well as heart problems.

Rats are also a major source of allergens which will also wreak havoc on humans, causing sometimes severe allergic reactions to occur.

Common Diseases Caused By Rodents

  • Colorado Tick Fever
  • Bubonic Plague
  • Hantavirus
  • Rat-bite Fever
  • Cutaneous Leishmaniasis
  • Leptospirosis

Alternative Rat Repellents

Mothballs as Rodent Repellent

People who are currently in the throws of a rodent infestation or are seeking to apply preventative pest control measures are always looking for alternative methods.

Many look for instructions on creating homemade rat repellent while others may be motivated by finding a humane solution to their rat problem.

Some suffering from rodent issues have found sounds sometimes repel Chicago rats when applied correctly.

Ultrasonic devices have been found to successfully repel rats by producing a high frequency sound that aggravates rodents.

Ultrasonic Waves as Rat Repellent

These ultrasonic sound devices cannot transmit into other rooms through walls or even through furniture, which creates the need for additional devices.

While ultrasonic devices are non-poisonous, making these devices ideal for pet owners or parents of small children, their results can sometimes be inconsistent, with varying reports of success and failure.

Mothballs have been commonly thought to repel rodents due to containing naphthalene, which carries a very strong pungent smell.

Naphthalene found in mothballs are in such low levels that though it deters flying insects easily, it will have little to no effect on repelling Chicago rats.

City Crews Exterminate Chicago Rats with Dry Ice

Many people who apply natural remedies in their personal life turn to peppermint oil as a possible rat repellent, but this too has little success in preventative rodent control.

Practitioners assume this would be a good solution to remedy a rodent infestation because mice and rats both have high sensitivity to smells.

Chicago rats have been recently combated with the use of dry ice as a repellent.

The increased complaints that Chicago has amassed since 2016 led city hall leaders to study alternative rat control measures, which were then green lit by the federal government.

The dry ice method essentially puts rodents to sleep before dying, which has been found to be a more effective measure of extermination.

Exterminating Rats In Nest With Dry Ice

City crews put the dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) into Chicago rats nests and then seal the holes.

Once the dry ice warms, it transforms into gas which will then suffocate the rats.

This methods allows rodents to wither in their nests, away from citizens.

When To Call Starks Pest Control Chicago

With over a decade in an array of pest control solutions and prevention, the professionals at Starks Pest Control are a phone call away, with a free estimate.

Licensed and bonded to perform their exceptional services, Starks also guarantees all work, regardless of scope.

If you or someone you know have been experiencing Chicago rat problems in the area, Starks Pest Control will conduct a free estimate and walk the client through their planned course of action to eradicate their rat infestation.

Don't be a statistic in Chicagoland's growing rat epidemic, with the winter months approaching, a call to Starks will ensure your home doesn't find several new rodent tenants.