Animal Control Truck

Animal Control is just one of the services offered by the Environmental Health Department.

Animal Control

Concerns about stray animals can be directed to the Animal Warden at (708) 424-5570.

Food Safety

The Stickney Public Health District Division of Environmental Health works to ensure the food safety of local restaurants and to prevent the spread of disease. Information regarding restaurant inspections, licensing and food permits can be obtained by calling 708-424-9200, extension 123.

  • Downloadable Food Establishment Application
  • Downloadable Special Use Application

    Pest Control and Abatement

    Seasonal pests and vermin can spread disease. Regardless of the time of year, residents can discourage animals and/or insects from feeding and breeding by eliminating environmental opportunities.

    Blocking up cracks and openings in buildings during both the warm and cold seasons, securing trash and food sources year around and elimination of water collection during the summer can help keep populations of unwanted creatures under control.

    Stickney Public Health District Efforts to Control Mosquitoes UPDATE

    BURBANK August 27, 2021 – In an effort to battle West Nile virus The Stickney Township Health District will begin spraying to kill adult mosquitoes throughout the Township. Spraying will begin on August 30th and extend through September 3rd. Spraying is contingent on appropriate weather conditions. Weather permitting, the spraying will begin at dusk and continue through the night, with licensed mosquito abatement technicians in trucks dispensing an ultra-low-volume spray.

    The material being used to control the adult mosquitoes is ANVIL® 2+ 2 ULV. It is approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is used to control mosquitoes in outdoor residential and recreational areas.

    Each year, SPHD conducts a comprehensive West Nile virus surveillance, prevention and control program. In addition to spraying, SPHD also releases larvicide in catch basins, which helps limit the number of mosquitoes that can carry the virus. SPHD regularly conducts testing on mosquitoes caught in traps throughout the Township. Using results of these tests, SPHD will determine the appropriate steps to be taken in order to best protect Township residents.

    West Nile virus cannot be transmitted from person-to-person. WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite. Most mosquitoes do not carry the virus.

    SPHD reminds residents to take precautions against mosquitoes that may carry the virus:

  • Use insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
  • Eliminate standing water. This includes emptying water from flowerpots, gutters, pool covers, pet water dishes and birdbaths regularly.
  • Keep grass and weeds short to eliminate hiding places for adult mosquitoes.
  • When outside between dusk and dawn, wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, socks and shoes.
  • Check that all screens, windows and doors are tight-fitting and free of holes and tears
  • Check on neighbors regularly who may need additional assistance, including the elderly.
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    Environmental Health

    Alley

    What Residents Can Do To Assist Rat Abatement Efforts

    Responding to resident concerns about rats is a priority for the Stickney Township Environmental Health Department. Although most people don’t want to think about rats until they see one, many residents are surprised to learn that they often unintentionally enable them to live nearby.

    In Stickney Township, Field Technicians Joe Schultz and Jim Morrison are the front line response to reports of rat activity in Stickney Township. Joe and Jim have been fighting rats in Stickney Township for the past 8 and 3 years respectively and have come to know a lot about their enemy. Both are certified by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to handle pesticides related to both mosquitos and rodents.

    When the pair follow-up on complaints, they meet with residents to provide information regarding what prevention options the resident may have, what the Township can do, and a timeline for what happens next. They examine property looking for evidence of a rat presence and if found, they determine if placing poison bait is appropriate.

    “If we’re responding to a complaint where a bait box is appropriate we let the homeowner know that we plan to place the box containing a poison on their property and obtain their permission,” explains Joe, adding that apartment buildings are technically the responsibility of the landlord.

    Jim explains that for the team from Environmental Health to take action on a complaint there must be evidence of an infestation on the property. “Seeing one run by, people often think that they have a major infestation. We have to focus on where they are coming from.”

    The best defense is a good offense and, according to Joe, the first thing a resident can do is to eliminate sources of food and water for rats.

    Jim agrees, “the best thing to do is to keep up your yard. If you have a dog, pick up after the dog as soon as you can. If the garbage cans have holes, get them replaced. Avoid feeding birds and wildlife. Keep firewood 18 inches off the ground. Rats like concealment. You’ll find burrows under firewood stacks, low-lying evergreens, shrubs, and bushes. They like to hide anywhere that’s dark.”

    “Garbage cans are often an issue. They can have holes in the bottom where rats have chewed through,” adds Joe.

    A new garbage can may have a cost associated with it that deters some homeowners from replacing ones that have suffered rat damage. Although Jim sympathizes, he tells homeowners “it's the can or the rats.”

    Joe suggests that one option is getting a metal can to store garbage in and to transfer it to the plastic cans on trash pick-up days.

    “We’re in a proactive position when it comes to these rodents. We put poison bait out for them and check for activity, but these are creatures of habit,” explains Joe, “they need food and water to live. Once they find it they’ll keep coming back to the same location and may ignore our boxes. If the sources are removed, we stand a better chance of them taking the bait.”

    Jim says that “once they find a food source like a bird feeder, they’ll go there everyday and actually form a trail through the grass. The grass is often discolored from urine and the oils on their fur. We often see this in a bad infestation.”

    Once the bait boxes are strategically placed, the crew returns regularly to check them.

    Jim says that Stickney Township is different than some municipalities that just drop poison. “We follow through. We don’t just drop the box. We follow up to see if there is any activity. We come back and may move the box around until we get a hit. It’s like fishing.”

    “A lot of people think that once the bait box is in place it’s the answer to their rat problem. In some cases it is,” however Jim notes that “even doing this may not completely eliminate the rat population if your next door neighbors are providing them with food and shelter.”

    “If you look over (at a neighbor’s yard) and they’ve got tall grass and blight, that’s where the rats are” and you still have a problem.

    “Too often,” Jim continues, “it’s the poor guy caught in the middle. On one side they have a neighbor feeding the birds, on the other side the neighbor isn’t picking up after their dog, and the rats live under the deck of the property in the middle. Rats are creatures of habit. They’re going to go back to the same food source over and over again until it’s eliminated.”

    Reporting issues is important.

    If blight is an issue in your neighborhood, Joe suggests calling your local city services. “In Burbank they can call the public works blight department to report incidents of problematic properties.”

    Properties that have overflowing dumpsters or cans are of special concern. Residents who try to avoid paying for garbage pick-up often resort to “fly-dumping” of their trash in other people’s garbage cans, dumpsters, or open areas. This contributes to feeding vermin.

    In discussing residential rat problems, Jim confirms that due to the COVID shut down rats had to find new sources of food. “When the restaurants shut down there weren’t as many food scraps in the trash. Rats started to rely more heavily on residential sources.”

    Jim cautions homeowners that when a bait box is in place they should avoid moving it without first making sure that there aren’t any rats inside. He carries a pipe with him as he checks the boxes and taps each one before checking to see if the bait has been taken.

    “I had one come out of one once and stare up at me like I was disturbing his meal. After checking the box and putting it back in place I walked away. Out of the corner of my eye I see him scurry right back in to finish his last meal.”

    Jim says that “people often want us to drop a box at the bottom of their bird feeder, but that’s really not going to do much good.”

    Joe agrees, “they’re such creatures of habit that once they have a food source they’ll go right past it.”

    Once you cut off that food source, and they realize that they aren’t getting that free dinner anymore, then you can be proactive and drop a box down.”

    Jim warns dog owners not to leave water bowls out and, if they have a baited box or not, to check their yards before letting their dogs out.

    “Rats spread disease. They’ll get into a water bowl and contaminate it. If a dog comes across a dead rat they may try to grab it and contract disease that way. It’s important for dog owners to check their yard regularly for dead animals.”

    Joe and Jim standing by truck.

    Field Technicians Joe Schultz and Jim Morrison travel the Township inspecting bait boxes in an effort to control the rat population.

    Facts About Rats:

  • Rats are more active after a rain.
  • Rats reproduce every 8 weeks.
  • Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can be deadly for dogs. Several neighborhoods in Chicago have seen an uptick in dogs becoming infected from contact with rat urine, all the more reason to take Joe and Jim’s advice to heart.
  • Bait boxes in truck.

    Bait boxes loaded and ready to be placed.

    Rat hole in trash can.

    Trash cans that rats have gnawed their way through should be replaced.