Report Rodents in a Snap with Rat Chat

April 6, 2017

No more lengthy phone calls or voicemail messages—see a rat? Send a text!

The City of Ferndale has an innovative new solution for reporting rat and rodent activity: Rat Chat. The Twillio-based text messaging service allows residents and citizens to send the City detailed information with a simple text. 

Rat Chat was created by student-partners from the University of Michigan School of Information Citizen Interaction Design program. Their goal, after speaking with a number of residents, was to develop a system with simple reporting and access to frequently asked questions. On the back end, information sent to the City gets logged into customized database, making it fast and easy for staff to learn about issues, investigate, follow up, and provide resources. 

To use the service, simply text RAT to local number 248-206-3149. The automated service will reply immediately with questions and number-based options. 

See below for additional information. For questions, contact the City’s Director of Community and Economic Development Jordan Twardy at 248-546-2393.   

How do I use Rat Chat? 

If you spot a rodent, a rat hole, or any other evidence of rodent activity, text RAT to 248-206-3149. Rat Chat will immediately reply with a text message response and instructions. This is a text-only application—phone calls cannot be taken through this line. 

What if I don't text/can’t use the app? 

If you can't access Rat Chat or prefer not to text, please call the City’s CED Inspector Emily Loomis at 248-546-1234. You'll be asked to provide information about the issue. 

How does Rat Chat help Ferndale? 

Rat Chat is an immediate way to report an issue and find a resolution. All texts are tracked, with the Department of Community and Economic Development monitoring and investigating high-complaint areas and providing solutions. 


Kara Sokol

Communications Director