ProactiveBe proactive to reduce potential problems; call 313-943-2099 for city’s assistance 

Warm weather brings an increase in outdoor activities for humans and, unfortunately, for pests.

Pests like rodents love areas with great hiding places, such sheds, porches, and garages; and easy access to food, including bird seed, vegetable gardens, dog droppings and garbage scraps.

 An effective rodent control program starts with the elimination of conditions that the pests favor.

The City of Dearborn’s Vector (Rodent) Control Program suggests following the guidelines for successful rodent abatement year round.

Eliminate food sources for rats

  • Keep trash in the designated carts with lids closed.
  • Remove and dispose of animal feces daily, or as often as possible.
  • 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.

Avoid hiding places

  • Keep all materials stored inside a garage.
  • 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 six 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.

What not to do

Do not 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 are to be handled by professionals only.

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.

Please be aware that 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 could be crossing through one yard to get to another yard, for example, and the inspectors will not find evidence of rats living on that pass-through property of the caller.

Although 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.

Other domestic wildlife complaints (squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, opossums, raccoons, etc.) should be referred to Animal Control at 313-943-2697.

Complaints of pigeons, high grass/weeds, or other nuisances should be referred to the Neighborhood Services Division at 313-943-2161.