There are many species of rats, but the two species that most often become pests in Metro Atlanta 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 slightly more common in wooded rural areas, and Norway rats are more common in urban areas such as Atlanta and Marietta.
Rid-A-Critter provides safe, non-chemical control of both Norway rats and roof rats throughout the Metro Atlanta area.
In nature, roof rats (also known as black rats or tree rats) live in trees and spend most of their time aloft. In Atlanta and other cities throughout Georgia, roof rats are most often found in attics, roof soffits, drop ceilings, mechanical equipment rooms in commercial buildings, church steeples and bell towers, the tops of elevator shafts, and other elevated areas.
Roof rats are smaller and slimmer than Norway rats, have exceptionally good balance, are excellent climbers, and can chew holes through many building materials. Their biology and behavior, as well as the damage they do, are very similar to those of gray squirrels; but because roof rats are slimmer animals, they can get into buildings through smaller openings than squirrels need. They usually get into homes and other buildings from nearby trees, especially if the limbs touch or overhang the house; or by running along aerial wiring that enters the building. They can also climb walls very well if they need to, and can travel inside wall and ceiling voids once they get into a building.
Norway rats (also known as brown rats, sewer rats, water rats, or wharf rats) are burrowing animals by nature; but they're also happy to live in homes and other human-occupied buildings if given the opportunity. They have powerful teeth and jaws and can gnaw through most building materials. Quite often they'll burrow and gnaw their way into basements, crawl spaces, and gaps under sheds and storage buildings. Once they're inside a building, they can make their way through wall and ceiling voids and may migrate upwards, especially if that's where the food is or if population pressures force them to move. Norway rats are also excellent swimmers and are often found in sewers and around wharves and piers. And yes, rats can swim up into a toilet.
In short, Norway rats usually start at the bottom of a building and work their way up if they have to, and roof rats usually start at the top and work their way down if they have to. But these are just generalizations. Either specie can be found anywhere in a home or building. Once in a while, both species may be infesting different parts of the same building. You won't find Norway rats and roof rats in the same part of a building, however. Despite being close relatives, the two species do not get along at all.
Rats were the first species of wildlife known to spread diseases. Historical evidence suggests that rats have been associated with disease even before biblical times, and practically all epidemiologists believe that rats were a big part of the reason for 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. Rats are also associated with the transmission of leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, and many other diseases.
There are quite a few problems with using chemical rodenticides for rat extermination. When you consider them all, we think you'll agree that Rid-A-Critter's safe, non-chemical approach is the best way to solve structural rat problems. Instead of poisoning rats, we seal rats out of your house and make it rodent-proof without using poisons. Our organic rat control method has many advantages over chemical rat control:
In short, safe, permanent, non-chemical rat removal and exclusion is the safest, most-effective, and most-permanent way to eliminate a rat infestation.
Rat Control Gallery
Here are some randomly-selected pictures we've taken at the many rat-removal and rat-proofing jobs we've done throughout Metro Atlanta.
Roof rat gap into an attic in Dallas
This house in Atlanta needs rat-proofing
Rat burrow under an outdoor cooler in Atlanta
How rats got into a house in Riverdale
Rat entry gap into a house in Atlanta
Norway rat hole in a house in Decatur
Do-it-yourself rat control didn't quite work out
How rats got into the crawl of this Atlanta home
How Norway rats got into a Stone Mountain home
Roof rat hole in a gable vent in Smyrna
Rat hole in fascia board of a house in McDonough
Roof rat holes in intact wood at at Atlanta home
Rat entry gap into a house in Austell
Norway rat hole into a College Park home
How roof rats got into a house in Palmetto
Norway rat gap into a house in Decatur
Rat damage to the rain gutter of an Atlanta home
Roof rat gap into the attic of a house in Smyrna
Rat prints in a crawl space
Roof rat gap into an attic in Decatur
How rats got into a crawl space in Austell
Roof rat gap into the attic of an Atlanta home
Roof rat damage at a house in Marietta
Human-assisted rat entry in Mableton