Some Royal Oak residents say rodents are on rise

A Royal Oak resident caught a rat and isn't happy - she feels she's seen more of these rodents in her community.

A whole group of residents are so frustrated, they got together to talk about it Wednesday night.

"Frankly, we're tired of the problem with the rats," said Lisa Carnegie, who lives in Royal Oak.  "Some people have even had rats chew through the screens."

City leaders say construction sometimes can make rats more visible.

FOX 2 canvassed the community and the overwhelming majority we spoke with; say they don't have a problem with rats. 

But we found one resident who thinks they could be burrowing in his back yard.

"They are out by our garbage can sometimes, but we can see them running around at night, throughout the neighborhood," said Paul Shepherd. "I have seen one or two in my backyard."

Royal oak isn't the only community dealing with rats. The Facebook group Ferndale Rat Patrol sent a video of one of the critters heading for a trap in that city.

But they have group members from all over metro Detroit and one of their leaders says this is peak season for rats.

"Anytime you have a lot of garbage, you are going to have rats," said Shepherd. "If you keep the cans clean and lids on them, rats can't get to them. But a lot of people just throw their garbage out and then you have rats."

Royal Oak's interim city manager Dave Gillam says he didn't know anything about the meeting.

"We wish we had known that there was going to be a meeting last night, because we hadn't heard anything about a meeting last night," he said.

Gillam said there are a lot of existing policy including rodent control that is on the books - and that if people follow the rules, it should help mitigate the rodent issue. 

"To a certain extent rats will always be an issue in a city, particularly one that has a busy downtown," he said. "At the same time, I talked with our building official and he said there has been no spike or anything like that."