Rodent control efforts continue in Dearborn

Photo courtesy of the city of Dearborn The city’s vector control team treats a property to eradicate a rodent problem on Oct. 9.

Photo courtesy of the city of Dearborn
The city’s vector control team treats a property to eradicate a rodent problem on Oct. 9.


DEARBORN –  The city continues helping residents with rodent control issues by sending out field inspectors to make the first contact with households, and then vector control professions to follow up at properties with confirmed problems.

The vector control specialists cover the entire city.

As an update, here are the actions taken in the west end of the city.

Since Aug. 1, about 115 households in the west end have contacted the city with concerns.

Visits to the properties determined that 27 complaints were unfounded for rodents, 17 properties had conditions created by the property owners that led to the problem and they were directed to hire a private pest control company, and 18 homes are under treatment by the city, or have already been abated.

The rest of the properties have been visited by field inspectors and are on the list to be treated by the city’s professional vector control team. A single complaint can lead to discoveries of rodents in adjacent properties that may also need to be treated.

A mild winter and ongoing road, sewer and building construction projects throughout Dearborn have dislodged rodents from their underground homes, which has aggravated the usual warm weather increases in rodent activity.

What not to do

Residents are advised not to use commercially available rodenticides. Rats can become resistant to them, which can result in the rats becoming more difficult to eradicate.

Also, rodenticides that are improperly placed or used may be a danger to children, pets and non-target species. Such poisons should be handled by professionals only.

The city’s role

Residents seeking the city’s assistance may contact Vector Control at 313-943-2099. City inspectors will evaluate a situation and proceed with professional techniques, as required.

The city’s role has limitations, but residents are encouraged to call if they believe they have a problem on their property.

Sometimes there are complications when reporting a rat sighting. A rat may be seen on one property, but the nest could be on another property. So there may be no action that can be taken on the caller’s property, because there is no rat infestation on their property.

Although some exceptions apply, there are laws that restrict inspectors from entering adjacent property without getting that property owner’s permission to look for signs of rodents.

It may also take multiple treatments to eradicate the infestation, and can also take a period of time for the treatments to begin to take effect.

What residents can do

Here are some guidelines for successful rodent abatement:

• Keep trash in the designated carts with lids closed.

• Remove and dispose of animal feces daily.

• Eliminate all food sources on your property, including pet food and bird seed. It is a violation of city ordinance to ground feed animals.

• Pick up and remove daily any fruit from trees, bushes or vines that fall to the ground, and remove vegetables from gardens as soon as they ripen.

• Keep yards clean.

• Woodpiles, when stored on an unpaved surface, should not be less than 9 inches from the ground.

• Compost must be containerized and kept at least 18 inches off the ground.

• Seal cracks, holes or breaks in foundations, and repair holes around pipes, screen doors, windows, vents, and other openings in the home.

• Outside steps should be made of masonry/concrete. Keep the space beneath wooden porches clean and free of clutter and debris.

• Keep grass cut below 6 inches in height, remove weeds, and keep low hanging trees and bushes trimmed up off the ground at least 12 inches to prevent rats from hiding there.