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Safe, Non-Chemical Rat Control

Metro Atlanta Regional Office of Rid-A-Critter

Rat control at a commercial building in Marietta

Rat control at a commercial building in Marietta

There are many species of rats, but the two species that most often become pests in the Metro Atlanta Area and throughout Georgia are the roof rat (Rattus rattus), and the Norway or brown rat (Rattus norvegicus). Although both rat species are found in both urban and rural areas throughout Georgia, roof rats are more common in rural areas, and Norway rats are more common in urban areas such as Atlanta and Marietta.

Rats have the dubious distinction of having been the first pest animals believed to carry disease. Historical evidence suggests that rats have been associated with disease even before biblical times, and practically all epidemiologists believe that they were obligatory disease reservoirs in all of history's great plague epidemics. Specifically, rats are reservoirs for Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague. The fleas that feed on the rats then vector the disease to humans.

The rat's unique and dubious place in the history of disease also gave birth to the profession of pest control. The first exterminators were called "rat catchers," and they did their job pretty much the same way Rid-A-Critter does today: without chemicals, and with an emphasis on sealing rats out of buildings permanently. Every house has vulnerabilities, even brick homes, as this post shows. We find those vulnerabilities using time-honored methods like looking for droppings and following rub marks, and we fix the problems to keep the rats out.

Chemical rodenticides were a later invention, and certainly they have their place. For example, many wide-area rat problems have been solved (or at least reduced) through the judicious use of rodenticides in sewage systems, utility chases, wharfs and docks, and other similar places. For wide-area public-health rat abatement programs, rodenticides are an invaluable tool.

But for most residential and commercial structural rat control situations, rat poisons are the lazy way out.

The Problem with Poisoning Rats

Actually, there are quite a few problems with the chemical rodenticide approach to rat extermination; and when you consider them together, we think you'll agree that Rid-A-Critter's safe, non-chemical approach is the best way to solve structural rat problems. Let's look at some of the disadvantages of chemical rat control.

Rodenticides are poisons. Although this may seem redundant, the fact is that any poison we put into the environment has the potential to harm non-target animals, or even people. In the case of rat poisons, this actually is more common than most people realize. Many rodenticides are secondarily toxic, which means that an animal that eats a poisoned rat can be poisoned, as well.

A rat hole in the roof of a Marietta home, under the shingles in the corner

Roof rat hole found during a Marietta rat removal job

Poisoned rats die at home. Don't believe the nonsense that poisoned rats go outside to seek water. Most rodenticides take several days to work, during which the rat begins to feel progressively sicker; and just like us, when rats start to feel sick, they go home. If the rat's "home" happens to be your house, then that's where they're going to die. And stink.

In fact, we do a lot of work that consists of finding and removing dead animals that were killed by the poisons that other "rat exterminators" left behind. It's not the most pleasant work that we do. Moreover, it would have been entirely unnecessary had the job been done properly -- trap and remove the rats, and then seal up the house -- rather than just tossing some poison around

Non-chemical rat control is cheaper in the long run. When you pay an exterminator to control your rat problem using rodenticides, you make a friend for life: the exterminator. That's because the poisons exterminators use don't last forever. Rodenticides used inside or outside get eaten by rats and need to be replaced. They also get eaten by insects such as beetles, weevils, and moths, but the insects don't die. Rodenticides are harmless to insects. Even wax-encapsulated, "weather-resistant" rodenticides often get infested by insects or rot away because of mold.

As a result, rat control that relies on poisons, and neglects the more important work of exclusion, requires that the exterminator visit you -- and bill you -- again, and again, and again to check and refill the bait stations. That starts getting expensive after a while.

Are Rodenticides Ever Needed?

Yes, sometimes they are, especially outside.

For example, exterior use of rodenticides might make sense in cases of large outside populations of Norway (or "brown") burrowing in the ground outside your house or building, or when used as a part of wide-area public health rat abatement programs. Also, some types of commercial buildings may be required by law or by the sanitation standards of their industries to have exterior rodent bait stations installed around the perimeters of their buildings.

So yes, there are some cases when the use of rodenticides makes good sense; and when it makes sense, we use them. But most of the time they're neither necessary nor desirable. Non-chemical rat removal and exclusion is usually a much better way to go.

Please contact us for more information about our long-lasting, exclusion-based rat-removal programs.

Rat Control Gallery

Here are some pictures we've taken at the many rat-removal and rat-proofing jobs we've done throughout Greater Atlanta Metropolitan Area.


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A Construction Gap Allowed Rats into a House in Lawrenceville, Georgia
by Webmaster
Aug 15, 2018 06:04:30 pm.

This is How Roof Rats Got Into a House in Austell
by Webmaster
Aug 15, 2018 05:57:42 pm.

Example of Roof Rat Damage to an Old House in Chamblee, Georgia
by Webmaster
Aug 15, 2018 05:55:22 pm.

Classic Norway Rat Hole Into a House in Lilburn
by Webmaster
Aug 15, 2018 05:52:34 pm.

Look How Norway Rats Got Into a Home in Atlanta
by Webmaster
Aug 15, 2018 05:49:40 pm.

Here's a Norway Rat Hole into an Apartment House in Atlanta
by Webmaster
Aug 15, 2018 05:47:18 pm.

Justin Found the Roof Rat Hole in a House in Atlanta
by Webmaster
Aug 15, 2018 08:21:31 am.

Here's Justin Doing Rat Control at a House in Stone Mountain, Georgia
by Webmaster
Aug 15, 2018 08:18:38 am.

This Was the Roof Rat Entry Gap into a House in Atlanta
by Webmaster
Aug 15, 2018 08:05:47 am.

Human-Assisted Norway Rat Hole into a House in Marietta
by Webmaster
Aug 15, 2018 08:03:25 am.

Here's Justin Performing a Rat Inspection in a Basement
by Webmaster
Aug 15, 2018 07:59:47 am.

Comparison of DIY Versus Professional Rat-Proofing
by Webmaster
Aug 14, 2018 10:32:51 am.

Video of Roof Rat Damage to a Gable Vent
by Webmaster
Aug 13, 2018 12:33:01 pm.

Here's How Roof Rats Got Into a House in Berkeley Lake
by Webmaster
Aug 08, 2018 10:48:07 am.

This Was the Rat Entry Point into a House in Atlanta
by Webmaster
Aug 08, 2018 10:30:28 am.

The Rats Were Getting Into This House Behind the Deck
by Webmaster
Aug 07, 2018 10:59:07 am.

Norway Rats Had Many Ways Into this House
by Webmaster
Aug 07, 2018 10:39:37 am.

Video Showing the Hidden Rat Entry Point Into a House
by Webmaster
Aug 07, 2018 10:35:34 am.

The Roof Rats Were Getting In Under the Ridge Cap
by Webmaster
Aug 06, 2018 10:35:22 am.

Very Shoddy Rat-Proofing by a Competitor
by Webmaster
Aug 06, 2018 10:32:42 am.

Brad Did a Roof Rat Removal Job in Johns Creek, Georgia
by Webmaster
Aug 06, 2018 10:29:48 am.

Here's a Roof Rat Hole in a House
by Webmaster
Aug 06, 2018 10:26:28 am.

Brad Found the Roof Rat Entry Point in a House in Atlanta
by Webmaster
Aug 06, 2018 10:23:48 am.

Here's Justin Rat Proofing a Church
by Webmaster
Aug 06, 2018 10:21:06 am.

Brad Found Rat Burrows Outside a House
by Webmaster
Aug 06, 2018 10:18:31 am.

Guess How Rats Got Into this Garage in Marietta
by Webmaster
Aug 02, 2018 10:24:54 am.

Yet Another DIY Rat-Proofing Fail
by Webmaster
Aug 02, 2018 10:07:11 am.

This is a Roof Rat Hole in a House in Duluth, Georgia
by Webmaster
Aug 01, 2018 10:22:23 am.

Here's the Norway Rat Entry Hole into a House in Powder Springs
by Webmaster
Aug 01, 2018 10:16:17 am.

Hungry Rat Nibbled on Two Georgia Peaches on a Kitchen Counter
by Webmaster
Aug 01, 2018 10:00:43 am.

Picture of Tim Sealing Rats Out of a House in Marietta
by Webmaster
Jul 31, 2018 10:51:31 am.

Justin Working at a Rat Control Job in Atlanta
by Webmaster
Jul 31, 2018 10:48:22 am.

The Atlanta, Georgia office of Rid-A-Critter provides rat extermination and removal in all of Metro Atlanta, including the communities of Berkeley Lake, Buckhead, College Park, Conyers, Decatur, Douglasville, Duluth, Fayetteville, Hull, Johns Creek, Lilburn, Lithonia, Loganville, Mableton, Marietta, McDonough, Newnan, Norcross, Peachtree City, Powder Springs, Sandy Springs, Smyrna, Stone Mountain, and Vinings.

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