Chicago experiments with dry ice to exterminate rats

Close up of a wild Brown Rat

Close up of a wild Brown Rat

CHICAGO (AP) — The city of Chicago is turning to dry ice to exterminate its rats.

The city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation says it has begun a pilot program where crews place a spoonful of dry ice directly into a rodent burrow and then cover the hole. As the dry ice melts, it turns into carbon dioxide, suffocating the rodents.

Department Commissioner Charles L. Williams says other cities have been experimenting with the dry ice tactic “and achieving tremendous success.”

The department says preliminary results show rats reduced more than 60 percent after treating an area with dry ice. Its Bureau of Rodent Control will continue testing the dry ice into late fall, weather permitting.

The dry ice pilot is occurring at several parks and in planter boxes along four streets.

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