Growing St. Clair Shores rat problem has city looking for solution

By Bisi Onile-Ere, Local 4 Reporter
Published On: Nov 30 2012 11:00:37 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 30 2012 11:03:47 PM EST

After at least one dog was killed by the rat infestation in St. Clair Shores, residents are asking the city to do something to fix the problem.

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. -

James Battaglia, of St. Clair Shores, has a big problem on his hands.

For the past year and 1/2 he has been dealing with rats.

"There's a hole right here," he said. "I tried putting a brick right there and they dug around it."

There are no rodents in his backyard but there are signs that they have been there. Battaglia is on the hunt.

"Rats. I've already killed 51 in this backyard," he said.

A resident who lives near the intersection of Share and Love streets snapped a photo of a rat in her backyard.

Read more: St. Clair Shores city manager says rat bills were database error

But Sherry Stidwill has had it the worst. She says she lost her 8-year-old dog, Benny, to leptospirosis, a bacterial disease spread through rats.

"For having him since he was 6 weeks old until he was 8 ... it felt like losing once of my children and he's never going to be replaced," Stidwill said.

St. Clair Shores recently ran a pilot program in which rodent bait boxes were set up in one community. Is it time to panic? One city leader says no.

"I wouldn't say that St. Clair Shores has an epidemic of rats," said interim city manager Mike Smith. "We do have areas where we have rats and we're trying to develop a program to eliminate that problem."

Related: Warren mayor says city launching attack on rats

Stidwill just doesn't want anyone else to go through what she had to.

"I'm not trying to put blame on anybody. I believe it's an unfortunate situation. I would just like to see that the city of St. Clair Shores inform more their people in the city so no one else has to lose their pet," she said.

It will cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement this plan. A proposal will go before the City Council in a few weeks.


A resident who lives near the intersection of Share and Love streets snapped a photo of a rat in her backyard.

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