City spending $125,000 for rat control near I-696

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published January 11, 2019

 A total of 128 bait box traps were deployed and are being checked by the city’s contractor every two weeks at a cost of $30 each. Warren’s program targeting rats in the Interstate 696 construction zone totaled $125,000.

A total of 128 bait box traps were deployed and are being checked by the city’s contractor every two weeks at a cost of $30 each. Warren’s program targeting rats in the Interstate 696 construction zone totaled $125,000.

Photo by Brian Louwers

WARREN — Mayor Jim Fouts said the city of Warren is making good on its pledge to fight a potential influx of rodents displaced by construction along Interstate 696 by deploying bait boxes at regular intervals along the freeway service drive fence line.

“The average bait consumed by rats is 41.5 percent from one inspection to the next one,” Fouts said in a Jan. 2 statement. “If we didn’t have this baiting program, the rats would be in our neighborhoods.”

While the freeway reopened after months of construction on Jan. 5, the bait boxes can be seen along the fence on the north and south sides of the service drive, which is 11 Mile Road east of Dequindre Road.

A total of 128 bait box traps were deployed and are being checked by the city’s contractor every two weeks at a cost of $30 each. Warren’s program targeting rats in the construction zone totaled $125,000.

Last spring, Property Maintenance Division Director Greg Paliczuk said Warren would spend $275,000 on rat baiting across areas of the city in 2018-19, not including the additional bait program launched to counter the influx along I-696. At the time, Paliczuk estimated that the freeway program could have added an additional $140,000-$150,000 in costs.

Fouts said heavy pounding and excavation during the height of the construction this summer resulted in increased rodent activity.

“Fortunately, we anticipated this (problem) and the City Council appropriated the needed funds,” Fouts said.

Deputy Public Service Director Gus Ghanam said the city’s new cart program for trash collection will further address rodent activity by making trash receptacles uniform, secure and efficient. The 90-gallon containers are large enough to prevent overflowing cans in many instances, and they have attached lids.

Fouts said the poison used in Warren’s bait boxes is “eco-friendly” and will not harm birds of prey that feed on rodents. The poison attacks the central nervous system of the targeted rodent, Fouts said in a Facebook post.

The mayor directed anyone with questions or concerns about rodent activity to call the city’s “hotline” at (586) 574-4662. He said residents can also contact his office directly at (586) 574-4520 with any rodent-related issues.