CANTON, Mich. (WXYZ) — "If you see one rat, you have a family," said Julie Lattimore, co-owner of Security Pest Control in Canton, when talking about how quickly rats reproduce.
And Lattimore said her family-owned business has seen an increase in calls for help eliminating rats in some Canton neighborhoods.
"We set rodent stations on the exterior. We make sure that weatherstrip is clear underneath the garage door and we make sure it's not broken or ripped," she said, adding that some of the calls they've received involve a neighbor who does not want to stop feeding the birds and squirrels.
"When you feed the birds and squirrels, you're also feeding the rats," said Lattimore.
Carlos Cabrera said his neighbor has trapped a couple rats and his own outdoor cat has eliminated a few rodents in the area.
"My cat has killed at least three of them," he told 7 Action News.
After an increase in calls regarding rats, Canton Township ordinance officers have been offering bait stations for people reporting the problem in their neighborhood.
Ordinance officers are also passing out notices to neighbors where rats have been reported, advising them on ways to avoid attracting rats by removing what rats need to stick around: Food, water, and shelter.
"The key to preventing a rat infestation on your property is eliminating access to these fundamental rat necessities," the notice reads.
Some of the places rats like to nest include leaf piles, wood stored on the ground, junk and garbage piles, and old furniture.
To eliminate food sources for rodents near your home, township officials are advising that residents stop feeding outdoor birds or, instead, use feeders that do not spill onto the ground; keep kitchen garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids, and turn compost piles over to cover newly added food scraps.
"Dog feces is said to be the number one food source for rats in developed areas," according to the township notice.
Click on the video to hear Lattimore explain other ways to avoid attracting rodents.