Following several consecutive mild winters, Skokie and surrounding communities are experiencing a seasonal uptick in rodent activity.
The Village works collaboratively with Skokie businesses, residents and property owners to address issues that may encourage rats. Contrary to speculation that the Village’s transition to once-a-week trash collection is driving an increase in rodent activity, the top three contributing factors observed at properties with rat activity in Skokie are: availability of water sources, such as bird baths and fountains, grill grease, and long-term outdoor storage of bulk items and construction materials. Garbage has been identified as a contributing factor in approximately 9 percent of rodent cases over the last year.
To address problem areas and prevent rat activity from escalating, the Village conducts heat mapping of rodent cases, conducts targeted surveillance efforts, and has increased education and treatment of properties.
How you can help
Preventing rats requires a community-wide effort. Please take these five actions to discourage rats:
- Eliminate sources of shelter. Rats are attracted to areas where they can travel unseen. Make sure your yard and outdoor spaces are well maintained and free from overgrown plants and bushes, construction materials, and other bulk items. Inspect structures and seal any gaps or holes that could serve as entry points for rodents.
- Eliminate sources of food. Maintain a clean grill; clean up fallen fruit from trees; avoid leaving pet food outside and pick up pet waste promptly; don’t allow bird seed to accumulate on the ground; and practice proper waste management. Store household waste in tightly sealed bins and take advantage of the Village’s free food scrap drop-off sites to eliminate food scraps from your trash cart. The Village’s Public Works Department regularly monitors garbage services on its routes so that any issues can be addressed quickly.
- Eliminate sources of water. Empty bird baths and eliminate other sources of standing water. (These can encourage mosquitoes, too!)
- Report issues promptly. Notify the Village of rodent issues immediately. The Village’s Environmental Health Division will survey your property for rats and provide free rat control if rat burrows are found.
- Educate your neighbors. Spread awareness among neighbors and friends about rat prevention measures and the importance of collective action.
Thank you for your cooperation.