FRUITPORT, Mich. – More domesticated rats were taken away Tuesday as more continued to breed at a Fruitport Township home which has been condemned.
A tenant was using the small home as an animal rescue for more than a decade, but became out of control in recent weeks and the thousands of rats and other animals have been slated for rescue, but as they keep multiplying, volunteers have not been able to keep up.
The homeowner has set up several large barrels trying to live-trap the animals. Tuesday, a group of contractors were at the home trying to get as many of the estimated 1,000-plus animals as possible. They put up a metal containment wall off the home’s front porch Tuesday and have gone inside wearing masks and gloves. They tell us they can hear whole colonies of rats scurrying in the walls up to the attack. Rat urine from the attic is discoloring the ceilings in the house.
Their plan is to keep food and water inside the home and then remove the walls to drive the rats out and trap them. They removed debris from outside the home Tuesday, like old cages and tattered furniture to eliminate rat hiding places.
The homeowner has been ordered by the township supervisor to “significantly reduce” the number of rats in the home by the end of the week. Otherwise, the township will hire an exterminator and bill the homeowner the estimated $30,000 it will cost to eliminate the rats.
Last week, experts who assessed the home said they saw between 1,500 and 1,800 rats and babies inside the walls of the home. They estimate they are breeding at a rate of about 100 new rats a day. Rats can start breeding when they are five weeks old and can reproduce every three weeks.
The rats that have been removed have been going to licensed animal facilities.