How Should the City Solve Evanston’s Rat Problem?

Voice your thoughts on a potential solution and share your rat horror stories.

Last week, Evanston Patch reported that and that a city ordinance currently prevents the city from exterminating in condos or on commercial real estate properties.

Aldermen were scheduled to continue their discussion of the city’s rat problems at last night’s City Council meeting, but we want to know how you think they should best curb the infestations.

Take the poll below to let us know what you think should be done, and share alternative solutions and rat horror stories in the comments section below.

jim July 10, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Patch should have also included having city step up inspections of resturants and property around them
Jim July 10, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Introduce feral cats.
Richard Schulte July 10, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Vote the mayor and city council out of office and then clean house at city hall. (BTW, excellent photo of the mayor accompanying this article.)
MaryAnne Powers July 10, 2012 at 02:45 PM
After the Custer Street Fair on Sunday evening was when I first saw rats in Evanston in this decade. And one rate ran west over the El tracks, and came back w/ a second rat heading east into the foliage toward Chicago Avenue. In the '90s I remember that the rocks along the lake front were 'infested' with rats coming out at twilight and foraging on the gleanings from picnic remains in the trash cans.
jim July 10, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Yesterday morning when I was walking my dog. We were walking South on Sherman at about Washington. I was surprised that walk South on Sherman about two feet from us was a RAT strolling along not paying any attenton to us.
Jennifer Fisher (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Good suggestion, Fred! Thanks for weighing in.
woodahy1 July 10, 2012 at 10:01 PM
There are a ton of rats that run around in the gravel lot next to Tommy Nevins Pub. Very interesting to watch while eating on the patio there.
Joan K. Raisner July 11, 2012 at 05:24 AM
More city resources are needed to combat this new rat problem. Whenever a major project involves digging, like building and CTA improvements along Chicago Avenue, it disturbs rat colonies that will migrate into nearby neighborhoods.The time to stop rats is before they establish new colonies. Neighbors and I regularly call 311 to report the rats in the alley between Washington and Madison. We ask to be contacted and are told that a report has been filed, but we never see anyone or get called. Baited boxes are left out for years without any sign that they are ever checked or renewed. At the very least, city animal control officers need to respond to concerned residents so there can be effective joint strategies. It is too easy to pass the blame onto condos or businesses.
David Greenberg July 12, 2012 at 01:27 AM
I once saw a show about a guy in NY called "Rat Man" - he'd take a plastic wiffle-ball bat to Rats running around the streets... just crazy. Personally, I think the City ought to stop fooling around with the issue. Declare rats a nuisance (which is within the powers of a City to do). Declare that the property owner where rats are nesting is responsible for eradicating the vermin, and that if they don't - the City will do it for them and send them the bill - marked up by 50% for administrative costs. Failure to pay = lien on the property.
Rob Marquardt July 12, 2012 at 04:19 PM
The best solution would be to fine the businesses that do not maintain their stores. At 2906 Central Street both the UPS store and the flower shop leave debris and garbage all over the back parking lot. I see rats just about everytime I drive in the alley at night. Once found a dead rat just outside our appartment entrance. Maybe if the stores were forced to keep the area clean it would it help with control of the rats.


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