Call Now: (706) 354-4868
We are hiring! Please click here for details.
Phone Icon Reddit Share Button Facebook Share Button Twitter Share Button

Rat Extermination and Control

Athens-Clarke County Regional Office of Rid-A-Critter

Rat control in a basement

Rat control in a basement

There are two species of rats that are structural pests in the Athens area and most of Georgia. In urban areas, Norway rats (also called brown rats, wharf rats, or sewer rats) are the more common of the two. In rural or wooded areas, roof rats (also called black rats) outnumber Norway rats. But either rat can be found in either environment.

To the best of our knowledge, rats are the first animals that people were willing to pay other people to eradicate. Early on in history, people started recognizing an association between rats and disease, long before this connection was understood and proven by science. The observation that disease increased when rat populations were high inspired some enterprising people to get into the business of "rat catching." Those early "rat catchers" were the first professional exterminators.

It's fitting that rats had the dubious distinction of being the first animals recognized as serious enough pests that people were willing to pay to get rid of them. Rats have been associated with disease since Biblical times, but modern science has confirmed their involvement in the transmission of serious diseases like bubonic plague, hantavirus, hemorrhagic fever, rat-bite fever, salmonella, and many others. That gives rats the dubious honor of being the most notorious disease vectors in human history.

Rat Control Methods

The first rat catchers controlled rats pretty much the same way Rid-A-Critter does: They trapped them, removed them, and then sealed them out. That's still the best way to permanently control rats, and it's the way Rid-A-Critter does it to this day. Sometimes it's good to be old-fashioned.

In the early 20th Century, however, the trend in rat control started to move away from trapping and exclusion and toward the use of chemical rat poisons, known as rodenticides. This actually was and remains a good thing for public health rat control in big cities because it makes wide-area rat extermination both practical and economical. This is still the case today: There are times, places, and situations in which the use of rat poisons is the best way to go, especially in wide-area public health rat abatement projects such as sewer baiting.

In homes and other buildings, however, poisons are not the best way to kill rats. Rat extermination in homes should be performed the old-fashioned way, without chemical poisons, for several very good reasons:

Rodenticides are poisons. Okay, so this is obvious. What's not so obvious, however, is that rat poisons are not specific to rats. They'll kill any mammal (as well as some other animals, like birds) that happen to eat them. This sometimes includes animals that are secondarily poisoned because they ate a poisoned rat. For example, a hawk that eats a poisoned rat may also be poisoned.

Poisoned rats don't "go outside to seek water." Don't believe that. Seriously. It's hogwash. Poisoned rats usually die where they live, and if where they live happens to be in your home, then that's probably where they're going to die -- and where they're going to rot away and stink. In fact, we get a lot of calls from customers who want to hire us specifically to find and remove dead rats (and other animals) that were killed by the poisons that other less-enlightened rat exterminators tossed around in people's houses.

Non-chemical rat control is more permanent. It's also less costly in the long run. Here's why.

When your exterminator uses poisons to kill rats, the poison has to be replaced from time to time (usually monthly) because the rats eat it, because it's eaten by insects (who don't die when they eat it, by the way), or because it gets moldy and unappealing to rats. These monthly visits are good for your exterminator because they gives him steady work. For you, on the other hand, not so much, because you're the one paying him.

Our non-chemical rat control seals rats out of a house so they can't get back in. There's no poison to replace, and therefore no monthly visits to replace it. There's also no chance of a rat dying inside your wall, nor of a pet or other non-target animal being accidentally poisoned.

Are Rodenticides Ever a Good Idea?

Sometimes rat poisons are helpful or necessary, especially outdoors; but rarely if ever inside a house.

As mentioned earlier, rat poisons are a good way for communities to rapidly reduce rat populations over a broad outdoor area, especially in cities. Exterminators have been baiting sewers for rats for generations. Rodenticides in tamper-resistant bait stations are also required outside certain types of buildings, such as food-processing plants or warehouses, to comply with health codes or industry standards. Rodenticides can also be handy when used directly in rat burrows outside a home or business if the outdoor rat population is very high.

It's rare, however, that rat poisons are appropriate inside a building. For an occupied building, rat poisons are almost never the right way to eliminate a rat problem.

Rat Control Gallery

Here are some pictures we've taken at the rat-removal jobs that we've done.

Please contact us for more information about our long-lasting, exclusion-based rat-removal programs. We look forward to hearing from you.


Reviews and Affiliations

Council on Alcohol and Drugs - Certified Drug-Free Workplace Trust DALE Certified Logo Better Business Bureau Accredited Business A+ Badge

YouTube Twitter


Human-Assisted Rat Entry Point into a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Mar 18, 2019 10:50:21 am.

Guess How Rats Got Into this House in Winterville, Georgia
by Webmaster
Mar 15, 2019 11:09:28 am.

In Columbus Ga today meeting new clients.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 14, 2019 12:45:31 pm.

Tiny Roof Rat Hole into a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Mar 11, 2019 12:16:26 pm.

Typical Roof Rat Entry Gap in a House in Hoschton, Georgia
by Webmaster
Mar 11, 2019 11:40:58 am.

Here's How Rats Got Into a House in Eatonton, Georgia
by Webmaster
Mar 07, 2019 11:06:30 am.

This Was How Rats Got Into a House in Greensboro, Georgia
by Webmaster
Mar 06, 2019 12:13:56 pm.

Here's How Rats Got into the Basement of a House in Bogart, Georgia
by Webmaster
Feb 21, 2019 12:10:39 pm.

Visiting clients in Albany Ga. on this Presidents Day. Be safe!
by Jason Arruda
Feb 18, 2019 11:52:47 am.

Smiling Justin Sealing Rats out of a House in Bogart, Georgia
by Webmaster
Feb 07, 2019 11:34:30 am.

Wow, this warm weather has these bat calls on the rise. Bats are gonna be out early with this warm weather and early spring.
by Jason Arruda
Feb 06, 2019 11:57:56 am.

Visible Rat Rub Marks on a Gable Vent in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Feb 05, 2019 10:45:18 am.

Rats are a year round problem critter we work with. We solve many rat problems each month. If you or someone you know has a rat problem, we are the best around. We will protect your home and family against rodents. Call for a free estimate.
by Richard Adcock
Feb 01, 2019 12:13:29 pm.

Norway Rat Entry Hole in a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jan 31, 2019 10:31:50 am.

Well it was a good Monday seeing clients in Carrollton, Dallas, Rockmart and Bremen Ga. today. Time to head home. Be safe everyone.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 28, 2019 04:25:42 pm.

It's Pretty Clear How Rats Got Into this Garage in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jan 28, 2019 12:00:39 pm.

This was How Norway Rats Got Into a Crawl Space in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jan 25, 2019 10:32:49 am.

Out here on Jefferson Georgia today rats taking over the house. About to reverse the curses for them And make there house a home again #rats #wildllife #ga
by Carl F.
Jan 24, 2019 10:11:55 am.

Norway Rat Hole into a House in Braselton, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jan 23, 2019 10:59:49 am.

How Norway Rats Got Into this Brick House in Stone Mountain
by Webmaster
Jan 23, 2019 10:56:04 am.

As always it’s nice to visit with our clients in the Albany Ga area. Thanks to all companies and people who refer us to your friends and family for wildlife needs.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 21, 2019 02:47:07 pm.

Justin Found Evidence of Rats in a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jan 21, 2019 11:45:23 am.

Cold start to the week. Our critter team is running all over the great states of Georgia and Alabama solving nuisance animal jobs. If you have rats, bats, squirrels, mice etc in your home give us a call for a free estimate.
by Richard Adcock
Jan 21, 2019 08:02:51 am.

News Flash: Our new company blog is live!
by Webmaster
Jan 18, 2019 05:52:35 pm.

Norway Rat Entry Hole in a House in Winterville
by Webmaster
Jan 18, 2019 01:10:02 pm.

Another Failed Handyman Ray-Proofing Attempt
by Webmaster
Jan 18, 2019 01:04:08 pm.

Had a good day visiting some of my clients in the Gainesville Ga. area today.
by Jason Arruda
Jan 17, 2019 02:38:57 pm.

Settling May have Caused this Roof Rat Entry Gap in a House in Jefferson
by Webmaster
Jan 17, 2019 12:24:40 pm.

Squirrels, squirrels, and rats. Just left a house in Vestavia Hills. We are sealing that one today for squirrels and rats. On my way to pehlam for gray squirrels. Then back up to Birmingham for more gray squirrels. Then to Irondale.
by Chris Scott
Jan 17, 2019 11:14:15 am.

Rats can be difficult to remove and prevent but we are up for the challenge. Call us for your rodent control needs. We offer services all over Atlanta, Birmingham, Columbus, Athens, Macon and Valdosta.
by Richard Adcock
Jan 17, 2019 10:33:38 am.

Ridacritter team is busy working on rat control removal and prevention jobs in Valdosts, Macon, Columbus, Atlanta, and Birmingham today. If you have a rodent problem in your house give Rid A Critter a call for a long term solution.
by Richard Adcock
Jan 14, 2019 09:27:54 am.

Heading to Greenville ga to fix a rat problem a customer has. There messing her insulation up as well in the attic.
by Justin A.
Jan 14, 2019 06:13:54 am.

The Athens, Georgia office of Rid-A-Critter provides rat extermination and removal in Athens-Clarke, Greene, and parts of Barrow, Gwinnett, Hall, Banks, Jackson, and Oconee Counties in Georgia, including Athens, Auburn, Bogart, Commerce, Good Hope, Greensboro, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Watkinsville, and Winder. Your town not listed? Contact us.

Site and Photos © 2005 - 2019 Rid-A-Critter®. All rights reserved. Legal, Privacy and Warranty Information. This Web site designed and maintained by RJM Web Design.