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Rats Overwhelm Residents In North Center Neighborhood

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Some residents in Chicago's North Center neighborhood say they are battling a war against rats.

They fear the rats are winning.

CBS 2's Derrick Blakley reports, residents are on constant rat patrol in the 2400 block of West Warner.

"In in the middle of the night, I went to the bathroom … and [a rat] ran across my foot," said North Center resident Samantha Cowan.

"The rat would come across here, and go in here," said Mary Linn Grusch, pointing to a small space next to concrete steps at the back of her home.

"This is where they stay. They sleep, and that's where they nest."

Cowan, pointing to a floor drain in her home, said: "This spot right here is where they pulled out three dead rats."

Another resident, Rick Latchin, said: "When they got into our kitchen, they ate our rug, basically ate it in half."

The city spread rat poison outside the Cowan's home, and an exterminator set traps inside and out.

Neighbors believe an illegal catering operation working out of a nearby garage may be responsible for food waste that's feeding the rats.

Patrick Mills, of Pest Control Chicagoland, said: "They're not taking the bait because there's too much other food out there. They have other options, better options than this."

Homeowners, now looking at other options, too.

"We've talked about relocating because of the rat problem," said Grusch. "I have family. I have children. I can't have rats to this extent."

A spokesman for 47th Ward Ald. Ameya Pawar said they are aware of the complaints and are working with other city departments to attack the problem.

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