Southgate residents battle major rat problem

Neighbors say rats are big enough to jump over traps

SOUTHGATE, Mich. – Many Southgate neighborhoods are dealing with a real nuisance: rats.

Neighbors said they are trying everything from high-frequency noise to shooting at them with BB guns, but they keep coming, so they called Local 4 for help.

"Downriver rats" has always been an endearing nickname, but it's not endearing anymore -- it's intolerable -- and so are the rats.

People in Southgate said the rats are so big they're actually outsmarting and out jumping the traps.

"It seems like some sort of medieval problem you might have," Steve Goudreau said. "I've put out multiple traps. I've put out snap traps, live traps. I've put out poison."

But the uninvited vermin keep showing up.

"They chewed through the fence in the wintertime over here," he said. "It's been a problem since they did all the construction on Fort Street three years ago and it became a problem overnight."

Overnight is peak time. Once the sun goes down, the rats are roaming until the break of dawn.

"I leave for work at 5:30 in the morning and you can see them on the street," Goudreau said. "Rabbits and rats."

The city is well aware of the problem and it keeps an enforcement officer very busy. She assesses the problem and contacts a pest control company if needed.

But many Southgate residents on the neighborhood Facebook page think the city could do more.

Officials said homeowners have to be smart -- no bird feed, cleaning up after pets and keeping a clean yard. They said residents should keep calling the enforcement officer if they have trouble. She will respond and start the process.

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