Warren spends $125K on rat bait following 696 construction

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A repulsive problem might be stirring in Warren. 

All that heavy construction and loud pounding on I-696 that's ruining your commute, might also be rousing rodents.

"It's appropriately called rodent cafe because it will be the last cafe they will dine at," said Warren Mayor Jim Fouts. 

Fouts said the city will be spending $125,000 on bait boxes - to lure rats disrupted from the road construction project - and stop them from getting into adjacent neighborhoods.

"Rats usually only travel about 200 feet or so so the first food source they come to, they're satisfied and they don't go beyond that," said Fouts.

Since Warren borders the I-696 freeway for six miles going both east and west, Fouts said it's the most affected by the construction, which is expected to wrap up early next week. 

"When the construction started last summer, it stirred up the rats in the sewer below the expressway and that's what created the original problem." he said.

Fouts said a rat contractor now has 128 bait boxes set up along the highway. The trap locations along the eastbound and westbound fence lines will be checked every two weeks.

The city's five-year-old bait box program also allows for hundreds of boxes to be given out to neighbors. Fouts is encouraging neighbors to call the city if they spot any rodents making their way toward Warren. 

"I think Warren is in pretty good shape for deterring rats and for doing everything we can," Fouts said.

Along with the traps, Fouts said the city will further attempts to curb any potential infestation by handing out 90-gallon trash cans to neighbors this month - hopefully preventing garbage from overflowing onto city streets.