Dearborn Heights, as well as other communities, are having problems with RATS. To aid in the understanding and eventual control of the rat population, there must be aggresive government control measures, fervent public support, and intense citizen participation.
You may be alerted to a rat problem by seeing burrows found along building foundations, under garbage or woodpiles. They may also live in and around gardens and fields. Nests can be lined with shredded paper, cloth or other fibrous material. They may nest in attics, walls, false ceilings and cabinets. You may find rat droppings around pet food feeding or storage areas, or anywhere food is kept. Look for rat feces around pipes and behind walls.
First, their food sources have to be eliminated. Cleaning up outside and inside to remove anything they may find edible. Not feeding birds, cleaning garbage areas, as well as dog feces is a good beginning. They have a keen sense of smell, are bold and clever. They are ominiverous meaning they are capable of eating plant and animal foods. They are also attracted to shiny objects, possibly food wrappers.
Next, replace with rat size feeding stations, preferably where the rat goes in and cannot come back out. Once they are placed, do not move them because some rats are upset by moved objects.
Some rats may be active above ground. They will use fence rails, attics, trees, rafters, etc. They can climb buildings and enter pipes on roofs and can swim up sewer pipes into toilets.
Rodenticides and traps should be used only where there are no chances of people, especially children, or pets entering the area. There is a nationwide law and guideline concerning the use of tamper resistant bait stations. Rats will discover poisons, carry it with them until they find something else that catches their eye or nose. They can drop the poison anywhere, which puts pets in jeopardy. To protect areas from rat visitors, place Lava Rock around the area. The rats do not like to walk on the sharp edges of the Rock.
Rats are not physically able to vomit or burp, and don’t get heartburn, so they cannot purge its body of toxins.
People and pets can become ill because of the transference of the rat saliva, eye and nose secretions, and urine. They carry Mycoplasma, an incurable respiratory virus also found in intestinal cells and feces. They don’t spread the Bubonic Plague, but if they come in contact with it, their fleas will spread the disease even after the rat dies.
Rats pee on everything. They pee on food, once they have decided it is good food they will return, females will pee on males when not in heat to mark which males they will like when they are in heat, males will pee on each other as well as the females because the smell is comforting to them. They drop pee as they crawl to mark their paths, to know where they are and where they have been.
One female rat can go into heat every four days. They can have five to 12 babies each time, then two months later those babies are able to have babies, which can lead up to 15,000 babies in one year, just from one couple.
Please call your Ordinance Officer of Dearborn Heights at 313-791-3478 if you have any questions or if you suspect a rat problem.