Rat population problem, complaints down in LP

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK – Residents are venting about rat damage while the city said the complaints are down.

Resident Ryan Thomas McNitt said rats chewed through the engine cables of his car, saying that he now has a “hefty non-warranty repair.”

McNitt, upset, went to social media seeking ways to keep the rodents away from his car. Other residents reached out, suggesting sprinkling mothballs on his driveway

Resident Sandy Sitek Ray said rats did the same thing to her car’s engine cables causing her to try the mothball treatment.

“And the little jerks started collecting them,” she said.

Fortunately, Ray has a handy husband, who replaced the engine cable at a minimal cost.

Chris Leigh, said rats also ate through the engine cable in her niece’s car and deems the rats a terrible problem.

Yet, resident Daniella Martinez, wasn’t aware of a rat problem in her area of Fort Street and Goddard.

Police Lt. Richard Kalakovich agreed there are rats, but doesn’t see them as a major problem. Kalakovich oversees the officers that take rodent complaints.

“If anything, the complaints are down this year, more than any other year,” Kalakovich said.

Kalakovich, however, isn’t dismissing that people have had problems.

Residents have suggested using peppermint oil, because it keeps rats away but doesn’t harm people or pets, such as some of the other suggested measures.

A resident in the area of Emmons and Riverdrive moved to the area in August and put peppermint oil on cotton balls daily and she has yet to see a rodent, of she said she is terrified.

Deb Younkin Smith said squirrels chewed wires on her new car twice. The buried peanuts gave the squirrels away. However, she worries about people using poison that will keep rodents away, but hurt pets.

The city website has a page devoted to help residents dealing with rodents and how to prevent them.

The city does not provide poison or traps to rid areas of rats. To report ordinance violations that are contributing to rats, call Ordinance Enforcement at 313-381-3203.

For tips on dealing with rodents, go to www.lincolnpark.govoffice.com/index.asp?SEC=3620FC9F-5A9D-4D7E-8A70-9B78D2165337&DE=A7D6CE04-5621-40A6-A808-63B77EF4EAB2&Type=B_BASIC.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at dstreporter@gmail.com.)