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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.

 

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The Rats Got Into a House in Athens, Georgia Through an Open Pipe
by Webmaster
Nov 13, 2019 10:30:09 am.

Typical Norway Rat Hole Into a House in Good Hope, Georgia
by Webmaster
Oct 29, 2019 11:25:47 am.

This Construction Gap Allowed Tree Rats into a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Oct 23, 2019 12:07:10 pm.

Norway Rat Entry Hole into a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Oct 23, 2019 11:59:32 am.

Typical Norway Rat Entry Point into a House in Bogart, Georgia
by Webmaster
Oct 21, 2019 10:33:12 am.

Huge Rat Entry Hole into a Brick House in Winder, Georgia
by Webmaster
Oct 18, 2019 10:25:07 am.

Here's How Roof Rats Got Into this Athens, Georgia Attic
by Webmaster
Oct 16, 2019 09:59:26 am.

Norway Rat Hole Through a Crawl Space Door in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Oct 11, 2019 10:55:33 am.

Havoc in you attic. Call us
by Jason Arruda
Oct 10, 2019 02:29:13 pm.

Having a blast down here in Tifton Ga at the GPCA Fall Conference meeting new clients. Glad to be in great relationships with the pest control industry.
by Jason Arruda
Oct 10, 2019 10:45:32 am.

Typical Tree Rat Entry Gap into a House in Hoschton, Georgia
by Webmaster
Oct 08, 2019 11:12:44 am.

Norway Rat Entry Gap Through a Brick Wall in Good Hope, Georgia
by Webmaster
Oct 04, 2019 10:53:30 am.

This Was How Roof Rats Got Into this House in Braselton, Georgia
by Webmaster
Oct 02, 2019 10:49:32 am.

Duplex Rat Holes Into a House in Bogart, Georgia
by Webmaster
Oct 02, 2019 10:45:32 am.

Typical Roof Rat Gap into the Attic of a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Oct 01, 2019 10:27:53 am.

Norway Rat Footbridge Into a House in Hoschton, Georgia
by Webmaster
Sep 25, 2019 09:42:24 am.

Been a busy day in South Georgia today with attic noises and scratching noises in walls. Squirrels are here.
by Jason Arruda
Sep 19, 2019 02:34:56 pm.

Norway Rats Were Chewing Their Way into this Garage in Braselton, Georgia
by Webmaster
Sep 18, 2019 11:56:57 am.

Typical Norway Rat Hole in a Garage Door Frame in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Sep 10, 2019 10:59:41 am.

Squirrel calls are coming in. Is your home protected? Call us for a free quote today.
by Jason Arruda
Sep 04, 2019 12:40:03 pm.

Out seeing clients today in Birmingham, Anniston, Leeds and Center Point Alabama. Having issues with Nuisance animals in your home or business call us for a free quote.
by Jason Arruda
Aug 29, 2019 12:14:08 pm.

Take a Guess How Rats Got Into a Brick House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Aug 29, 2019 12:13:57 pm.

Headed south to Vidalia,Ga for a bat exclusion quote. Nice day today with cooler temps. Going to be a busy fall.
by Jason Arruda
Aug 26, 2019 11:29:27 am.

Typical Roof Rat Entry Gap into a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Aug 22, 2019 11:37:16 am.

Getting a little squirrelly in Georgia. We’ve seen babies already.
by Jason Arruda
Aug 01, 2019 09:54:09 am.

This Was the Roof Rat Entry Gap into a House in Athens, Georgia
by Webmaster
Jul 26, 2019 10:06:58 am.

In Warner Robins this morning and sold a exclusion. Gonna be another happy customer. Now headed to Valdosta to see some clients.
by Jason Arruda
Jul 25, 2019 01:42:30 pm.

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.

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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