CHICAGO - Bait that causes infertility is Chicago's newest approach to combating the city's rodent problem, officials announced Tuesday.
The bait, called Contrapest, will be used as part of a pilot program at the garbage transfer station at West 34th Street and South Lawndale Avenue on the South Side. Twenty-five bait boxes will be used.
After months of feeding on the bait, rodents eventually become infertile and unable to breed, according to the Chicago Department Streets and Sanitation. If effective, the product could become a regular method used in other enclosed or contained areas where rodents may harbor.
The program costs about $15,000.
The bait stations are enclosed boxes which contain a feeding tube of the fertility-stopping product, which is non-toxic and environmentally-safe, according to the city.
In the meantime, the Environmental Protection Agency has given Chicago permission to use dry ice again to control the rat population.
Earlier this year, Chicago officials reported an uptick in the report of rodents in the city.
From January 1, 2016 to July 24, 2016, there were 21,800 rodent complaints. During the same time this year, rat calls were down by 2.5 percent.
City officials also plan to display new posters enlisting the help of the public to keep the number of rats under control.
For more information or to report a rodent complaint, call 311 or visit www.cityofchicago.org.