Rats have been in the public spotlight in Oak Lawn for a while even though they tend to hide.
Experts on Facebook or Faceperts, if you will, also hide and then give unsolicited advice on any subject. It doesn’t matter if these Faceperts have any training or education on a subject because they will weigh in despite their own ignorance. They may be accountants, they may be attorneys, they may be clerks or they may be greeters at Walmart. However, their real gift is that they are experts on every subject, including the disposal of rats.
Earlier this year, there was a “Seoul virus outbreak” affecting up to 15 states in the U.S., including Illinois. The infections were believed to come from rats received from “rat breeding facilities” in Illinois. These rat breeding facilities are pretty much unregulated and rat lovers actually buy rats from these ratteries.
Seoul virus is a type of hantavirus, which is transmitted when humans come in contact with rodent excrement. Humans and animals can also become infected through “aerosolization”, which occurs when nesting materials or excrement are stirred up by things such as vacuuming or sweeping, and tiny particles containing the virus are released into the air for humans to inhale.
Facebook has its share of excrement among commenters. Such was the case recently when rats again were highlighted on posts in Oak Lawn and neighboring Chicago Ridge. In Chicago Ridge, questions about a rat caught in a trap and the proper disposal allowed many Faceperts to let the poster “know” how to dispose of the rat themselves. Chicago Ridge, apparently knowing that rats have all kinds of diseases, notified the community, including its Faceperts, of the real facts.
The Village of Chicago Ridge made it clear to residents that self help was not a good idea when it came to disposing of rats. Chicago Ridge wrote “the proper procedure for residential homes that see or suspect activity with rats is to call the Village Hall…”.
Oak Lawn also has a contract with its waste hauler that includes the disposal of wild animals. That didn’t stop Oak Lawn’s Faceperts from posting negative comments when one soccer mom posted that a rat was lying dead in a public parking lot. She called the village and was told the village would handle it with its outside vendor. 24 hours later, the rat was still there and the Faceperts were quick to admonish the soccer mom for failing to “pick up the rat and throw it away yourself”.
Some of these Facepert heroes were quick to volunteer to pick up the rat themselves although they never did.
Instead, we are told that the village used the outside vendor to properly dispose of the rat. The lesson here is don’t listen to Faceperts and instead consult the experts in your village.