There are two species of rats that are common rodent pests in Macon and throughout Georgia: The roof rat, Rattus rattus (also known as the black rat); and the brown rat (also known as the Norway rat, wharf rat, or sewer rat), Rattus norvegicus.
As their name implies, roof rats are usually found in high places. In nature, they're tree dwellers, and their bodies are well adapted for that life. They're slimmer and lighter than Norway rats, with an excellent sense of balance. In homes, roof rats are usually found in attics, soffits, lofts, and other high parts of the home
Norway or brown rats are ground dwellers (although they can climb when necessary). They're heavier and stockier than roof rats, commonly live in burrows when they live outdoors, and are excellent swimmers. When they get into homes and other buildings, they can be found anywhere; but most commonly they're found in the basement and on the lower floors.
Both species of rats can be found throughout Georgia. Brown rats are slightly more common in urban areas, and roof rats in rural areas; but both can be found anywhere in the state.
Rats are the first animals that were associated with disease. Historical records suggest that even people in Biblical times knew that rats were somehow associated with disease. With the benefit of modern science, we now know that rats are involved in the transmission of many serious diseases including hantavirus, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, salmonella, and plague.
In fact, rats hold the dubious distinction of having been involved in all of history's great plague epidemics. The rats served as reservoirs for the bacterium Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, which was transmitted to humans by the fleas that fed on the rats, and then on people.
Once scientists understood how serious a health threat rats represented, a cottage industry of rat control experts sprang up. Called simply "Rat Catchers" at first, these people were the first pest management professionals. It's sometimes easy to forget how many lives have been saved by hard-working pest control workers throughout the ages. At Rid-A-Critter, we're proud to be part of that tradition.
In addition to the diseases they spread, rats can also damage our homes and the property they contain. Rats can cause direct damage to homes when they gnaw openings to get inside, they damage insulation and contaminate it with their urine and droppings, they cause foul odors that can get into the living area of the house, and they tear up clothing and other stored items to use as nesting material (or just because they like to gnaw).
When rats decide to gnaw on electrical wiring (which they do quite a bit), they present a more serious problem. Many thousands of home fires every year are believed to have been caused by rats and other rodents gnawing on electrical wiring. They can also cause damage to Internet, cable TV, telephone, and other low-voltage wiring, which won't cause a fire, but which will cause those services to stop working.
Obviously, keeping rats out of homes and commercial buildings is important to protecting both health and property.
Most rat exterminators rely heavily on rodenticides -- rat poisons -- for rat extermination. That's why our customers are usually surprised to learn that at Rid-A-Critter, we do most of our structural rat control jobs without using any poisons at all. We use non-chemical rat control for almost all our residential and commercial rat control jobs.
When we do use rodenticides, it's usually because the problem was a heavy population of rats outside a building, or because it was required by law or by industry standards. (For example, some commercial food processing plants are required to have rodent bait stations around the outsides of the buildings.)
By using organic rat control methods instead of poisons, we avoid all of the problems associated with rodenticides. For example:
Our non-chemical rat removal and rat-proofing methods avoid all those problems, while providing a more permanent solution that will keep rats and other animals out of your home. Our earth-friendly, non-chemical approach to rat control consists of:
The result is a rat-free home, with no risk of a rat dying inside a wall, and no need for continuing visits to refill rodenticide stations. Our system is as permanent a rat control solution as you can get.
Here are some pictures we've taken at the many rat-removal and rat-proofing jobs we've done throughout the Macon, Georgia area.
Please contact us for more information about rat removal and keeping rats out of your home or business. We look forward to hearing from you.