Rodents are a fact of life but we can reduce their numbers by working together. Dearborn is one of the only cities in Michigan with its own extensive rodent control program to combat rat populations. The success of our program is dependent upon your cooperation. You can help keep rodents away from your home by depriving them of shelter and food. Follow these simple guidelines:
Keep your entire premises clean. Seal garbage in tightly covered metal or heavy rubberized containers; don't use containers like bags or boxes. All garbage should be bagged before it is placed in the sealed containers. Drain and wrap food waste before putting it into can. Keep cans at least 18 inches off the ground and keep can area clean.
Store foodstuffs in rat-proof rooms and containers. Don't store food in the garage or outside. Clean up any spilled food immediately. Don't leave out uneaten pet food. Clean dog droppings up daily. Don't put bird seed on the ground; rodents will get it first. If you use a bird feeder, the area under and around it must be kept free of seeds and hulls.
Seal cracks or breaks in your foundation and repair holes in floor around pipes, screen doors, windows, vents and other openings into your home to prevent rodents from entering. Outside steps should be made out of concrete/masonry. Keep the space beneath wooden steps clean.
Keep all material stored in the basement, garage or outside at least 18" off the floor. Set furniture and appliances flush with the wall or far enough away so that the space between them and the wall can be easily cleaned. Keep all areas clean
The Facts About Rats
- Rats are excellent swimmers, and can swim up to a half-mile in open water or travel through sewer lines against substantial currents, and can tread water for up to three days.
- Rats can climb effectively, jump up to three feet in the air from a standing position or drop from heights of up to 50 feet without injury.
- Rats can gnaw through a variety of materials, including lead sheeting, cinderblock, aluminum siding, glass and improperly cured concrete.
- Rats can squeeze through very small openings: as small as a ½ inch!
- Weather determines the activity of rodents. Mild weather means more breeding. A Norway rat can produce up to seven litters per year with up to twelve young per litter.
- Dry weather will cause storm drains and creeks to dry out, driving rodents to seek water in swimming pools, birdbaths and outdoor pet water bowls.
- Rats almost always leave signs that can lead to their discovery. The top signs to look for are:
- droppings or feces
- chewing marks or gnaw marks around the bottom of doors, windows, in walls, floors, along wooden fences, boxes, crates and food packaging
- Marks of pathways
- grease marks or rub marks
- urine stains (which can be discovered with a blacklight)
- live or dead rodents
- rodent sounds
- rodent odors