Map: Rats of Detroit 2014 – 2022

In the spirit of the spooky season what could be more frightening than encountering a rat in the city? This isn’t New York City after all.

I was reminded of the map showing “regions of rat-bitten babies” from the 1970s that noted over 2 million rats were in Detroit at the time. I’ve heard this was largely due to a trash dump for Canadian trash on the Eastside, but haven’t found much else on the topic. The recent shutdown of Lafayette Coney Island due to rat droppings also made me wonder what our current geography of rats looked like.

Since 2014, there have been 21,990 “Rodent Extermination” requests on the Improve Detroit app. The Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department (BSEED) is the city government entity over rodents and pests among many other things.

This data may obviously be skewed by who reports on the Improve Detroit app, but the widespread reports from across the city give a good indication that there is broad use. The densest rat regions appear to be in the Grandmont-Rosedale neighborhoods, the Eastside near Pingree Park and Morningside, along with most of District 3.

How does that compare to where you’ve seen rats in Detroit?

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