Rodent Control

The City does not provide poison or traps to rid areas of rats.  To report ordinance violations that are contributing to rats, please call Ordinance Enforcement at 313-381-3203.

According to City Regulations:

  • All litter must be accumulated and disposed of in tightly-covered or sealed rat-proof, water-tight containers. Do not set garbage out in plastic or paper bags.
  • Lawn waste (grass, leaves, and flowers) may not be mixed with garbage.
  • Dumping, throwing, or depositing litter on any city right-of-way, or city-owned property, is prohibited.
  • The accumulation of litter on any private premise or vacant lot is prohibited.
  • All vehicles must be licenses and operable, unless stored in an enclosed structure. Also, motor vehicle parts or equipment cannot be stored in the open.
  • All lumber, wood and firewood must be stored at least 12 inches off the ground.
  • Dog food and feces are rat food. Keep both from being left out in the open.

Effective Strategies for eliminating a rat problem

Starve them out

  • Remove pet foods and water immediately after feeding. Rats enjoy bird and pet food.
  • Rats will change your garbage to food if you don’t keep it in rat-proof containers.
  • Refuse is a rat food. By City ordinance you must keep it in a garbage container with a tight-fitting lid.

Build them out

  • Rat-proof by sealing the following checkpoints: doors, windows, foundations walls, and places where wires and pipes enter the building.
  • Seal all openings larger than 1/2 inch in diameter or rats may enter your home.
  • Elevate stored material at least twelve inches off the ground. Old appliances and furniture should be put out for garbage pick-up immediately.

Poison Effectively

  • The safest baits are those which contain warfarin and similar substances such as pival, fumarin, or diphacin. Read the label before you buy. Set poison inside a covered box with end openings.
  • Traps can be an effective weapon against rats on the inside of buildings. Use fresh bacon, fish, or peanut butter as bait.

Food source removal is a key component for successful rodent control. Garbage, food, or feed should be stored in sealed containers. Spilled food and garbage should be cleaned up regularly. Outside debris and vegetation should be eliminated, as it provides essential harborage. Use the following checklist to ensure your property is protected:

  • Eliminate weeds from the exterior of buildings and maintain an uncluttered, weed-free perimeter of at least three feet around buildings.
  • Trim any tree branches overhanging buildings, they can be used by rodents as a travel path into your home.
  • Eliminate any outside debris, such as old equipment, boards, pipes, or wood piles that rodents can use for hiding or nesting. When storing wood or other materials, ensure that they are elevated at least 6 inches above the ground.
  • Consider sources of available water, such as ditches, stagnant pools, decorative fountains, and ponds. These are essential elements of a rodent's environment.

Rodent Proofing
The most effective and permanent rodent control is to keep rodents out of buildings. Doors, windows, screens, and cracked concrete are all areas where rodents can gain easy access. Be aware of openings near the top of buildings as well. Roof vents, eaves, attic vents, overhangs, and roof top air conditioning units provide access to wall voids and other areas in a structure. Down spouts need a screen on the bottom as well as the top.

General Information

Disease Transmission by Rats
Rats and mice are responsible for the spread of a number of diseases, either directly, by contamination of food, or indirectly, by way of rodent fleas and mites.

Physical Damage to Property
Rats continuously gnaw to keep the growth of their teeth in check and to gain entrance to obtain food and shelter. Rats destroy approximately ten times more food through urination and defecation then they actually eat. Additionally, numerous fires have been started by rats chewing through electrical wiring.

Recognition of a Rodent Problem
Important signs of a rodent infestation are:

  • The presence of live or dead rodents.
  • Rodent nests. These can be made up of many kinds of materials, such as bits of paper, straw, rags, etc..
  • Rodent odor. A distinct odor from rodent urine may indicate the presence of rodents.
  • Droppings. The presence of droppings can indicate activity and possible severity of the problem.
  • Evidence of gnawing. Rodents gnaw in an attempt to obtain shelter and food, also to keep their front teeth, which grow constantly, from becoming too long.
  • Rub marks. Deposits of body oil and dirt from rodents found along frequently traveled routes may be used as an indicator of habitual pathways.
  • Runways. These are frequently traveled paths along floors, stairs, and shelves, where droppings, rub marks and stains from rodent urine are found.
  • Tracks. Footprints indicate the presence of rodents and furnish information regarding places where they travel or which they frequent.
  • Rat Burrows. Burrows consist of tunnels dug below ground and are used by rodents for nesting and as a path for travel.