HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ) – Some residents of a Detroit enclave says they’re dealing with a “rat epidemic.”

Rodger Wensen who has lived in Highland Park for 50 years, took WWJ’s Vickie Thomas on a tour of the alley behind his home on McLean Street where he and his neighbors say there’s a serious rat problem.

“We have vacant houses that have backyards that are overgrown and full of debris. There’s places for rabbits and pheasants to live. I mean, we don’t have any snakes to kill the rats,” he said. “So, unless we’re going to start getting some snakes in the neighborhood, we’re going to have to get rat poison and/or people need to put out traps.”

Highland Park residents say trash-strewn, vacant properties like this one play a part in the rat problem. (credit: istock)

Highland Park residents say trash-strewn, vacant properties like this one play a part in the rat problem. (credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

Wensen said he has received some free assistance from the city.

“You can go up to City Hall — there’s a man up there who will be happy to put rat poison in your bag so that you can spread it around your house and/or your neighbor’s house, depending on how you want to help yourself and your neighbor’s handle this problem infestation,” Wensen said.

He said he and his friends have been putting the free poison down like confetti — although it doesn’t always stop the vermin.

“I’ve come around the corner at night over on Oakland and there were literally rats doing a hat dance around a garbage can lid down there,” he said, adding that a couple of times his cat has dragged a rat into his home.

(credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

(credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

Wensen said he would like to see a plan for a city-wide solution.

The city’s incoming (and former) mayor Hubert Yopp — who is being sworn in Tuesday — said he hasn’t yet heard about the complaints but he will be looking into the rat problem.

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