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Rodent Control (Rats and Mice)

Our Rodent Control Program investigates rodent problems, identifies conditions that may attract rodents, locates areas that may allow access into homes, and assists with control.

Rodents can spread diseases to humans through bite wounds and by contaminating food and water with their droppings and urine. Germs in rodent waste can be stirred into the air and breathed in by humans. Diseases can also be spread indirectly by ticks, mites, and fleas that live on rodents.

Rats and mice usually come out at night and hide during the day. A rat can fit through a hole the size of a quarter. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a little finger.


Signs of rodents include:
  • Droppings – Mouse droppings are about the size of rice grains. Rat droppings are a bit larger.
  • Tracks – To find tracks, scatter a small amount of flour or talcum powder on the floor along the wall where you think you may have a rodent. Put a cracker or piece of bread with peanut butter in the middle of the area. Check for tracks the next day.
  • Gnaw marks – Check for chewed packages or shredded paper. Any small hole with chewed edges is a good sign you have rodents.
  • Burrows – Inspect areas around dog houses, garbage cans, and dumpsters and in woodpiles and overgrown weeds for holes in the ground dug by an animal.
  • Sounds – Listen for movement or chewing noises in the walls, attic, or under the floor.


To get rid of rodents:
  • Take away their food. Keep garbage in tightly covered cans. Feed dogs and cats in a bowl and remove food and water bowls when not in use. Keep birdseed off the ground. Keep pantries, sinks, and counters free of crumbs and other food particles. Store food in containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Destroy their homes. Remove trash, newspapers, junk cars, broken appliances, and old tires. Keep grass and weeds cut. Store wood and other materials at least 18 inches off the ground. Check garages and storage buildings.
  • Close entryways. Keep doors closed. Cover windows with screens. Tightly fasten floor drains. Cement around pipes where they pass through walls. Seal small holes and cracks with stainless steel scouring pads and caulk over them.
  • Close burrows. Once the rats or mice are gone, close burrows with dirt and firmly stamp it. If the burrow is re-opened, you likely still have rats or mice in the area.
  • Set traps. Use traps inside your home. Avoid using poison bait, if possible, since it can be dangerous to children and pets. Also, rodents who eat the bait can die in the walls, attic, or basement and create a foul odor.
  • Place poison bait. Use poison bait only if it will be away from the reach of children and pets.
To request assistance:

Call (404) 508-7900

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