Rat Control Program
The Village of Skokie is committed to achieving a rat-free community. To achieve this, we have established a Rat Control Program that relies on the collaboration between the Village and our valued residents. Here's how you can participate and help us reduce the rat population:
- Reporting Rat Activity: If you observe rat activity on your residential property (4 units or less), you can request the Village to conduct a survey for rat burrows. To do so, please follow these steps:
- Option 1: Complete the online release of liability form available at www.nomorerats.org.
- Option 2: Obtain a paper copy of the form from Village Hall (5127 Oakton) or request it via email at email@example.com.
- Survey and Treatment Process: Once your request is submitted, our team will investigate the property within 5 business days. If rat burrows are identified, a bright colored dot will be sprayed next to the burrow and rodenticide will be inserted. The property will then be added to the treatment list for our licensed pest control contractor.
- Ongoing Treatment: Our contractor will treat the affected areas with rodenticide on a weekly basis. After each treatment, a door hanger will be left on your property to inform you of the action taken. Treatments will continue until our contractor observes two weeks of inactivity at the burrows.
- Closure Notification: We care about keeping you informed. Property owners providing an email address will receive an email notification when the case is closed. The email will indicate that the rat burrows have been successfully addressed. Inactive burrows on the property can be filled in with stone or dirt.
- Reporting Re-opening of Burrows: In the event that the burrows reappear, promptly notify the Village via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide the property address, your phone number, your name, and the location of the burrows. We will re-survey the property and take necessary action.
- Residents with Pass Thru Properties: For residents who have pass-thru properties (observe rats but have no active burrows on their property), you can purchase bait stations and rodenticide bait blocks at your local home improvement store. Please follow the manufacturer's directions for usage.
We firmly believe that together, we can successfully tackle the rat challenge in our community. Your cooperation and active participation are crucial to achieving a rat-free environment in Skokie.
Thank you for your commitment to this program and for contributing to a cleaner and safer Village of Skokie.
The following summarizes the different rat control options available to control rats:
Sanitation: Rodent control begins with sanitation. While rodents find warmth and shelter inside structures, food is their first reason for living in and around structures. Thus, every effort should be made by property owners to eliminate rodent food sources in and around structures. Foods should be kept in sealed containers made of materials difficult for rodents to chew through, such as metal and hard plastic. Trash also should be stored in tightly sealed containers including trash cans and dumpsters with lids. Residents are discouraged from feeding birds and wildlife.
Exclusion: As a rule, anything that will make a structure less hospitable to rodents should be considered important. Along with sanitation, exclusion is the first line of defense against rodents. As rats can enter structures through ½-inch holes and mice through ¼-inch holes, every effort should be made to seal these exterior entry points. This can be done with ¼-inch mesh metal screen or hardware cloth, metal “wool” products, concrete mixes or durable sealants for smaller openings. Often, rodents enter structures through doors. Doors should be kept closed, should clear floors by no more than ¼-inch and have metal kick plates attached to prevent rodents from gnawing on them. Exterior vents and floor drains should be covered with screens or grates sufficient to exclude rodents, and spaces around drains should be filled with cement.
Baiting: The Village of Skokie’s primary means to eliminate rats from properties is using EPA registered and approved general-use rodenticides (baits). Baiting is the most efficient and timely way to eliminate large numbers of rodents. The main disadvantage is that rodenticides are toxicants and must be used carefully to avoid harming people, pets and other non-target animals. The Village of Skokie has knowledgeable staff, including staff that have their Illinois State Structural Pest Control Technician licenses. Staff and the Village’s licensed pest control contractor carefully follow all rodenticide product labels and directions, to ensure rodenticide is used in the safest possible way to protect non-target pets, wildlife and humans.
When rat burrows are found, they are baited by the Village. If burrows cannot be found the Village and their contractor may use tamper-resistant bait stations which are designed to prevent children and non-target animals from accessing bait.
Trapping: While the Village has determined that baiting is the most effective method of rat abatement, the Village will use trapping, but only when baiting is not considered a viable option by itself.
Carbon Dioxide: Carbon dioxide gas is a relatively recent product available for use to reduce rat populations. The EPA has required that companies distributing carbon dioxide for rat abatement get their products registered with the EPA. The registration provides licensed pest control companies with another tool for use in efforts to control rats. Carbon dioxide pumped inside burrows will kill the rats through suffocation and complements other registered lethal baiting control products and offers unique characteristics that applicators may find useful on a case-by-case basis.
Environmental Health Division
5127 Oakton Street
Skokie, IL 60077