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Photograph: Sonja Pauen/Flickr

Map: Chicago neighborhoods with the worst rat problems

Written by
Clayton Guse
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There are a lot of rats in Chicago. If you spend more than 30 seconds in pretty much any alleyway around town, you're likely to see a gross little rodent scamper between trash cans. Last year, a report from pest control company Orkin found that Chicago has the worst rat problem in the country. If you want a good idea as to how disgusting Chicago's rats really are, read the city's official page on the pests. It'll send shivers up your spine.

Curious as to how bad the rat problem is in your neighborhood? The city's data portal keeps track of 311 service requests for rodent baiting. According to that data set, more than 41,000 premises across the city were baited for rats from the start of 2015 through the end of September.  

The five community areas with the most premises baited during that stretch are (not surprisingly) all on the North Side:

1. West Ridge: 3,677 premises baited

2. West Town: 2,678 premises baited

3. Lakeview: 2,419 premises baited

4. Logan Square: 2,385 premises baited

5. Lincoln Park: 2,088 premises baited

For a more detailed look into rat problems across the city, here's a map breaking down rodent baiting by community area:

When the city receives a complaint about rats, the Department of Streets and Sanitation reacts by "mounting a systemic attack" thanks to a "very aggressive rodent control program," according to the department's website. The Bureau of Rodent Control (yes, that is a real thing) investigates every reported rat sighting and will place rodenticide as needed. 

The best way to keep the city's rat problem at bay is to ensure that your garbage bins are securely closed. Even then, the persistent creatures will sometimes chew a hole through the side of bins and feast on your old coffee filters and moldy leftovers.

At this point, we might as well start bowing down to our rat overlords. It's only a matter of time before they take over the city.

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