Hundreds of thousands spent on ongoing rat problem in St. Clair Shore

Posted at 11:28 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 23:28:36-05

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (WXYZ) — Rat sightings are nothing new in metro Detroit, especially in areas close to water. People in St. Clair Shores have been seeing more of these rodents running around, and the city has suggestions on how residents can help as they work to fight the issue.

Residents say the rat issue is nothing they are getting used to.

“I looked closer, and it took off and it was a rat," Dave Efimoff, who lives on St. Gertrude Street, said.

A couple days after seeing a rat on his street, he noticed small footprints in the snow.

“I took pictures when we get snow and I have been seeing some tracks," Efimoff said.

He posted the pictures to a Facebook group and was surprised by responses.

“It also sparked a lot of conversation about how bad it is back here," he said.

Underneath his posts, people who live in the community shared recent photos of rats they found on their property.

One man commented saying "2 in 2 days."

These sighting are nothing new for St. Clair Shores residents.

“It's an issue that most waterfront communities have," City Manager Matthew Coppler said.

To help address the issue, the city offers residents black rat poison boxes.

Coppler admits that more needs to be done.

“We recognize that there has to be a better way to go about this. The status quo is not something we want to accept either," he said.

Coppler told 7 Action News that the city is working on improving their current rat program.

“We are probably spending $200,000 to $300,000 a year in just that program. And it appears that we aren’t making a lot of progress in the elimination," he explained.

Coppler says through better enforcement and communication, the rat population can be reduced in the city.

He says the key to this is the community working together, starting by keeping their yards clean.

“Firewood — not having that on the ground is a huge issue because that really does provide good  harborage. Or setting old equipment in your back yard," Coppler said.

Eftimoff is also encouraging neighbors to do their part.

"Keep things clean. I know that a lot of people want to feed the birds — that creates a mess and attracts other animals. Keeping the property clean. Keeping your home and your garage sealed to where they can’t get into areas," he said.