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Rat Extermination and Control

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

Permanent roof rat control

Permanent roof rat control

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.

 

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Down here on Lake Blackshear quoting a home with what was thought to be bats. After evaluating the home it turns out to be Chimney Swifts which can’t be relocated due to being a migratory bird. We’ll be back to cap flue when they’re gone.
by Jason Arruda
Jul 22, 2019 01:37:32 pm.

How Norway Rats Got Into a Brick House in Jefferson, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jul 22, 2019 12:05:39 pm.

Example of Roof Rat Damage at a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jul 19, 2019 12:30:38 pm.

How Norway Rats Got Into the Crawl Space of this House in Jefferson, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jul 10, 2019 12:00:31 pm.

Typical Norway Rat Hole into a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jul 01, 2019 11:08:00 am.

Norway Rat Hole in a Garage in Oakwood, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jun 20, 2019 12:24:20 pm.

Typical Roof Rat Entry Gap into a House in Winder, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jun 19, 2019 11:56:58 am.

Norway Rat Burrow in a Crawl Space in a House in Bogart, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jun 17, 2019 12:02:00 pm.

Roof Rat Entry Gap in the Roof of a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jun 14, 2019 10:24:26 am.

Justin Doing Roof Rat Removal in Winterville, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jun 07, 2019 09:31:23 am.

Norway Rats Gnawed Their Way Into a Garage in Social Circle, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jun 06, 2019 10:34:16 am.

Typical Roof Rat Entry Gap in a House in Winder, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jun 03, 2019 10:51:08 am.

Love it when a really good song comes on the radio in between stops. Gets me a little squirrelly. Lol Have a Good Friday everyone.
by Jason Arruda
May 31, 2019 11:48:33 am.

Out seeing our wonderful clients in the pest control industry that refers us for wildlife (rats, bats, snakes, squirrels , bees, etc. Thank you from all of us!!
by Jason Arruda
May 30, 2019 01:45:40 pm.

Here's How Roof Rats Got Into this House in Jefferson, Georgia
by Webmaster
May 21, 2019 10:33:51 am.

Undeniable Evidence of Rats in a Restaurant in Bogart, Georgia
by Webmaster
May 09, 2019 09:44:32 am.

Great day in Valdosta. I helped one of my clients customer with a honey bee problem and set them up for our technicians to quote extraction.
by Jason Arruda
May 07, 2019 03:13:38 pm.

Squirrels in my attic, rats in my crawl, bats flying in my house to snakes in my yard. Yes we can handle it all from Hiawassee to Valdosta .
by Jason Arruda
Apr 30, 2019 12:37:58 pm.

Roof Rats Gnawed Through a Shingle in Elberton, Georgia
by Webmaster
Apr 22, 2019 12:06:33 pm.

Norway Rat Entry Point into a House in Braselton, Georgia
by Webmaster
Apr 22, 2019 12:04:24 pm.

Roof Rat Droppings on Stored Luggage in an Attic in Bogart, Georgia
by Webmaster
Apr 22, 2019 11:48:51 am.

How Rats Got Into an Air-Conditioning Unit in Winterville, Georgia
by Webmaster
Apr 18, 2019 10:01:20 am.

Evidence of a Roof Rat Problem in the Attic of a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Apr 17, 2019 10:04:42 am.

Typical Roof Rat Damage to a Clothes Dryer Duct in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Apr 16, 2019 10:20:17 am.

How Roof Rats Got Into a House in Winder, Georgia
by Webmaster
Apr 12, 2019 10:35:52 am.

Awesome day in Macon Ga. visiting clients. South Ga. pest control companies are referring us more and more bat jobs. I explained that now is the season. Thank you for referring us
by Jason Arruda
Apr 04, 2019 02:36:39 pm.

Spending the day in Athens Ga and Lake Oconee with clients. Go Dawgs!
by Jason Arruda
Apr 03, 2019 01:58:31 pm.

Well it was a great day in Alabama seeing my Pest Control clients that refer us. If you don’t know by now majority of Pest Control companies refer us for squirrels, raccoons, rats, bats, bees and more. Now it time to head back to Georgia.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 28, 2019 03:24:50 pm.

Excluding animals is a continuous task. That’s why our Warranty Division is always hard at work keeping those reoccurring, persistent, and pesky Critters out of your home. Have you let your Warranty coverage lapse?? Get caught up today !!
by Tim McDavid
Mar 28, 2019 09:29:04 am.

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.

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.

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