A Detroit suburb is spending about $400,000 on rat traps in an effort to keep the rodents out of its city.
Jim Fouts, the mayor of Warren, Michigan, said the city approved $275,000 last year for baiting rodents fleeing construction along 1-696, an east-west auxiliary highway that runs through Warren. The city is spending an additional $125,000 to bait the rats as the construction continues in 2019, Fouts said.
Already, a contractor has placed about 130 bait boxes and traps along 1-696 near Warren, the city said in a press release. The traps will be checked every two weeks, costing $30 per each check, according to the mayor.
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Michigan officials shut down parts of 1-696 last year as part of a $90 million project, according to WDIV-TV. The project could be completed as late as spring 2019.
“The heavy pounding and excavation causes rats to seek food, shelter and water elsewhere,” Fouts said, adding the “additional effort” is the result of six miles of construction on 1-696 through Warren.
“If we didn’t have this baiting program, the rats would be in our neighborhoods,” he said.
The bait box program, which began in April, will continue until construction is finished, according to the city. Additionally, residents will be given 90-gallon trash bins this month to help curtail the rodent predicament.
The city revealed its expenditure for the rat traps in a Facebook post – and some residents expressed reservations about the plan.
Christine Kaczmarek of nearby Sterling Heights, Michigan, encouraged the city to find other ways of keeping rats out of town other than poison; she said her dog recently died after ingesting rat poison.
Others complained that the new trash containers aren’t “rodent proof.” Barbara Whitson Ripley said her trash container was “chewed into the first night.”
Fouts said the bait traps can only be opened with a key, ensuring they would not be a danger to children. He also said the poison is “eco-friendly,” meaning birds or other prey will not be harmed if rats have ingested the poison.
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Warren residents who spot rats are encouraged to call a hotline, the mayor’s office or Fouts at his home, the mayor said.
Warren is about 13 miles north of Detroit.