Palm Harbor Poison Free Rat Elimination
Poison free rat exterminators in Palm Harbor, FL

“The Owl” Rat Elimination System-Creepy Creatures, Inc., humane and environmentally friendly  solution to Tampa Bay’s massive rat infestation!

If you are anything like me, you love animals, but you DO NOT care to share your home and yard with rats. ICK.

The problem with rat control in the Clearwater/Tampa Area has always been THREE things…

First, rat poisons needs to be re-baited every month or it goes rotten. If you do not keep the poison fresh, you may as well not even do it.  With Tampa Bay’s harsh, wet weather most rat poisons will quickly grow mold on them. Do  you like to eat moldy food? (I have to admit, I do love some of the moldy cheeses like blue, gorgonzola and especially brie…I could eat a pound of brie…ok, focus Dusty!) But rats don’t like moldy food, not even moldy cheese.

Second, not all rat poison is created equally. There is high quality, there is low quality rat poison. There is single-does and there is multiple dose rodenticides. If you are going to do it yourself, it is important to know the differences. Do you know the difference? It is quite important because it can mean the difference in killing wildlife such as owls, raccoons, opossums, neighborhood cats, bobcats and even panthers/mountain lions.

Whether you live in Palm Harbor, Tampa, Clearwater, Oldsmar or any of the other surrounding towns. Finding an exterminator that knows how to get rid of rats can be tough. And knowing how to properly get rid of rats without poison is even tougher. Until now, there were very few ways to get rid of rats poison free!

Give us a Call or Text to see if the Owl Traps are a fit for you. 


Why Use “The Owl” Traps?

Another unwanted side effect is, where do the rats go to die? Sometimes they will die outside where other animals can eat their poisoned carcasses.  

Knowing how to get rid of rats in attics can is not for the amateur.  Even professionals can struggle with knowing how to get rid of rats in attic, especially without rat poison.

Countless pest control professionals will tell you that rat poison is designed to make the rats thirsty so they go outside for water and die. To quote Dwight Schrutt, “FALSE!” There is NO rat poison designed to make rats thirsty so they go outside for water and die. You would think that if this were true they would advertise it. Yet, for over 30 years I have had a bet; if you show me where it says that on the label it says the poison will make rats thirsty so they go outside for water and die, I will pay you $100 CASH. I’ve had ZERO takers so far. My thoughts on this is that it was an easy way for exterminators to simply throw out a bunch of poison and leave…praying that no rats will die in the walls and attic…and smell. Customers don’t like this.

Different rat poisons work in different ways, too. Some affect the nervous system, some are stomach poisons and some break down the blood vessels so the rats hemorrhage internally and die.

This is an issue where owls eat multiple rats that have been feeding off the same poison PLUS they also feed these rats to their babies. They do not necessarily die immediately but the poison builds up in their brains so much that they eventually die from the poison buildup. 

How Does “The Owl” Rat Traps Work?

Rats can be picky and will often ignore some of the best tasting rat poison on the market. PLUS, if a rat eats the poison and it does not kill it, they will get sick and will most likely never eat it again. So now you are back to square one with rats that will not eat your expensive poison. 

Even worse, while rat poisons are designed to be only eaten by rats, on occasion squirrels will also eat rat poison. I love squirrels and would never want to hurt them. But squirrels eating rat poison also creates a secondary issue. As far as birds go, owls are most affected by eating poisoned rats because both rats and owls are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night. 

When squirrels are eating rat poison they are now making themselves available for birds of prey that are diurnal, or active during the day. These birds include hawks, ospreys, falcons and even bald eagles. 

I get that not many people like vultures…they appear as undertakers fighting for a good spot on an unfortunate armadillo or a massive feast of a deer that was struck by a car. 

I think vultures are pretty awesome. But like them or not, vultures play a key role in cleaning up our environment. They are the sanitation crew of the wild. Garbage men get little respect until the garbage goes a week without being picked up. Both garbage men and vultures are vital to providing us with a clean and healthy environment. And I mean this in the most respectful way, my dad was a garbage man during his college summers.

But vultures feed off of carrion. “Carrion” is a fancy word for “dead animals”. When squirrels feed on rat poison they become carrion and the rat poison then gets passed on to vultures. While vultures have a face that only a mother (and me) could love, it is NOT in our best interest to harm them.

Give us a Call or Text to see if the Owl Traps are a fit for you. 


How The Owl Trap works
This is how the Good Nature Owl Trap works!

I’m an animal lover. I even like rats…yeah, I’m one of those weirdos. But I also know that rats are incredibly destructive and if let alone, they will destroy your home and eat all of your food. I’ve seen it personally when people have tried to live with their rats, hating the thought of killing them.

The rats we have in that Tampa Bay Area are Rattus rattus, most commonly called “roof rats”. Some people call them fruit rats or citrus rats. Occasionally they are called “Wharf rats” but wharf rats are typically Norway rats, which we fortunately do not have an issue with here in the Tampa Bay Area.

Norway rats are the big city rats, typically up North where people describe them as big a dogs or cats. Which, by the way, is an exaggeration. They are big but not THAT big.

Roof rats are considered commensal rodents. They are not native to the United States and do not properly fit into our ecosystem. Commensal rodents thrive around people. They do not do well out in the wild like other native rats like a Florida wood rat. 

Occasionally, we are asked to relocated rats because people cannot stand the thought of killing them. Being commensal rodents, rats will not survive out in the woods or the “in the wild where they belong”. They will quickly be eaten or will starve to death. 

If you just move them somewhere else, “not in the wild”, then you are just transferring your problem to someone else and that’s not cool.

When animal loving people try to live with rats, rats will eventually destroy everything. All of their paths will turn brown from the oil on their skin and the urine they smear as they drag their bellies when they walk. 

Along with urine, rats will leave droppings EVERYWHERE. When I say “everywhere”, I mean everywhere. In your attic, on your kitchen counters; we have even seen rat droppings in people’s BEDS!!! GROSS!

Rats will chew holes to get into any place they want. Then they will chew randomly on things just because their teeth require chewing. 

Rats have caused fires as a result of chewing on wires. On more than one occasion while crawling through rat infested attics I have been shocked when accidentally touching a live, exposed electrical wire. 

The Owl Trap is poison free and won't harm other animals.
The Owl Trap is poison free and won’t harm other animals.

Just like you and me, rats love a cool drink of water and they know just where to get it…your dishwasher hose. What better way to destroy a kitchen than to flood it by chewing on a dishwasher hose? What is even more frustrating is when the homeowner replaces the dishwater, repairs all the damage from the flood only to realize they STILL HAVE RATS and they CHEWED THE NEW HOSE TOO!!!

Whether rats are looking for a cool breeze to go with that drink of water or they just want to explore new places, rats LOVE TO CHEW ON A/C ducts. One of the most common things we see in attics and under mobile homes, aside from rodent droppings, is air conditioning ducts completely torn apart from rats. It’s enough to share your cold water with rats, do you really want to share your cool (and expensive) air conditioning with them, too?

The bottom line is, you can try your best to live with them, but in the end…the rats always win if not dealt with. 

Being an animal lover that understand how destructive rats are, I hate the thought of them suffering. 20 some years ago, my old friend and urban wildlife specialist and entomologist, Dr. William H.Kern of University of Florida at Gainesville told me when I asked about where the rats die; he explained just like you and me, when we feel sick, we crawl into bed and hope to die; rats do the same. 

This means, if your rats eat your poison, it is possible they will go into your attic and die…and smell…then  you see great big flies that lay eggs that hatch into maggots and feed on your dead rats…in your attic…above your head while you sleep. Often times the flies come out of the bathroom vent to greet you as you are having your morning “business meeting”…or as they used to say “Seeing a man about a horse.”

Mobile homes can be worse. First, they are nearly impossible to screen up the underside. Even most of the best screen jobs can leave holes small enough for a rat to get in. Rats love to eat poison then crawl up into the subflooring (cardboard that attaches the insulation to the floor of the mobile home) and die. And smell. And attract flies and maggots. This is a very disappointing feeling given the going rate to screen up a mobile home is about $3,000!

I know all of this to be true because when I was young and hungry, trying to build my business I would take the worst of the worst work…and that is dead animal removal. I have removed more dead rats and opossums (perhaps that died from eating poisoned rats) from attics and mobile home subflooring than I could ever care to remember. 

Having a dead animal die in your attic or subflooring is SO GROSS that I would have my  “Hork factor”. As a nod to Wayne’s World, if I vomited, the price went up…and the customer never had a problem paying. 

But the real issue I have with rat poison is the secondary poisoning. As pest professionals we have had very few options. The best we could do was to use certain poisons such as TeraD3. TeraD3 and a few others are recommended by certain animal rescue organizations but the fact still remains the same, rat poison is still being put out into the environment. 

Pest Control’s Dirty Little Secret

There is something that has always nagged at me. No one in pest control ever talks about it. Each month when a pest control technician re-baits rodent boxes there is almost always has uneaten, spoiled bait. I have looked EVERYWHERE about where to dispose of the bait and I never find a PRACTICAL answer. I can guarantee most pest control companies and homeowners are not following most of these steps. 

I have no evidence, but I would suspect that most poison from homeowners and pest control technicians are just being tossed in the garbage where other creatures can eat it or it can end up in our soil.

Worst Case Scenario-Majorly Frustrating

Something that we call “The Worst Case Scenario” is when rats come up through the plumbing”. This normally happens when, at some point” a bathroom, laundry room or kitchen gets remodeled. 

Your sink and toilet pipes run from the sewer, connect to the sink or toilet then run up and vent out the roof. On occasion, contractors will cut that pipe, move the sink or toilet then never seal up that pipe. After that, they seal up the wall thus hiding the pipe. In the luckiest cases, the pipe will be visible from the attic where it can then be sealed but in most cases, it’s nearly impossible to find. 

Rats will find their way from the sewer, up the pipe and into your wall, which leads into the attic.

People with this problem often hire multiple pest control companies with ZERO results finding out how the rats are getting in. Sure, you can trap the rats in the attic but it never ends. And constantly setting traps, re-baiting traps and cleaning out traps in attics is a VERY arduous task. 

The traps constantly be maintained or your rat population will quickly grow out of control. 

Setting traps and rat poison outside around the perimeter is useless since the rats are coming up from the sewer pipes into the attic.

The normal recourse is to hire a plumber to perform a smoke test. While this is something that we definitely recommend, a smoke test could be $2,000-$3,000 and there is NO GUARANTEE you will find the issue.

Give us a Call or Text to see if the Owl Traps are a fit for you. 


Spreading Poison Into The Wild 

By law, rat poison is to be secured in such a way that animal and other invaders (like kids) can not get ahold of it where it can do harm. For example, you buy some rat poison from Home Depot. You throw it up in the attic for the rats to eat.

One of your curious rats takes a block of the poison and carries it from the attic outside, into the yard. From there anything can happen. Your neighbor’s dog can eat it, your cat could get ahold of it.

In a case like this, a squirrel could eat it only to be eaten by a hawk, which then dies from the poisoned squirrel. 

On occasion we even see people buy poison from Amazon, Lowes or Home Depot and put it outside, around their homes for ANYTHING to eat it!

The odd thing is that as pest control professionals, we must follow the law and that includes following the label of pesticides. Unfortunately, the general public can buy most of the same products and use them any way they like. 

Impossible To Seal Mobile Homes & Homes With Crawlspaces

Some of the most frustrating cases are homes with crawl spaces and mobile homes. The number one thing to do to prevent a rat infestation is to seal up the openings. This can be very difficult if not impossible with mobile homes and homes with crawl spaces. And even if it is possible, it can easily cost $3,000 OR MORE!!! And that does not always guarantee they will seal everything up.

I can’t tell you how often we get a frustrated caller that tells us they spend $3,000 to seal up their mobile home and they still have rats!!!  Nothing against the installers, sealing up mobile homes and crawl spaces is tough work. If you miss just ¼”, rats will find their way back in. 

In other cases, someone like an a/c contractor may pull open the screen because he needs to inspect the a/c ducts that the rats have chewed apart!

In cases like this, the only solution was to put out rat poison bait boxes. And as we know, these boxes need to have fresh poison put in them every month or they are worthless!

Tile Roofs-The Hidden Maze Into Your Home

There are two questions we ask people when they call with a rat problem. 

  1. Do you have a crawl space underneath your home?
  2. Do you have a tile roof?

Tile roofs can act like a protected superhighway for rats and. It just takes one broken tile, one tile offset or (especially barrel tiles) an unsealed valley.

Roofers will also lay tile up against an area where the soffit meets the roof. If not done carefully. This will allow the rats to travel under the tile and straight into the attic and you’ll never know it!

I can’t tell you how many times when we tell people that rats can get in through their roof they reply with “Oh no, I just had a new roof put on!” However, even the best roofer does not make a good rat proofer. Roofers are great and knowing how to keep rain out…however, most are horrible at keeping rats out. In fact, we had the owner of one of Tampa Bay’s best roofing companies hire us to get rid of his rats. And guess how the rats were getting in? Yup, you guessed it, the roof!

The sneaky little rats will get under the tiles, travel (with overhead protection from hunting owls) and find a corner of the plywood underneath the roof and chew a hole to get in.

The good news is we have the solution to all of these issues! And no, we don’t use the old fashion traps that everyone knows about. But we used to…and we used them because we didn’t think we had a choice. **the exception is when we cannot keep the Owl traps in stock**

We’ve used nearly all the traps on the market. 30 years of trapping rats I’ve had an opportunity to see the newest, craziest traps…and up until recently, it all came back to the good ol’ fashioned snap trap. I’ve always said “You can’t build a better mouse trap.” But I was wrong. 

Snap traps are VERY high maintenance. They need to be re-baited every 2-3 days. They need to be safely set, without snapping your fingers. They also need to be set in areas that will prevent kids, pets and wildlife from getting caught in them so your areas of placement are very limited, which can affect how well they work.

Plus, the trap can be incredibly inhumane. When things go perfectly, the rat is hit in just the right spot so they die quickly if not instantly. But the sad truth is that many, many times it is not a clean hit. The rat gets hit on the snout or a leg or paw only to die a very slow and agonizing death.

When traps are not secured they can be dragged away by a rat that was not caught cleanly. This means you may need to manually “dispatch the rat”, not something for the faint of heart.

In other cases the trap may get dragged off into a part of the attic that is inaccessible and then die…causing a horrible smell…then flies…then maggots. Ew.

The glue board trap seems to be an old standby, not just by homeowners but by many in the pest control industry. The glue board is perhaps one of the worst, most horrific traps in all of history. 

When rats are caught cleanly in a glue board, they will still die a slow and agonizing death. When they are not caught cleanly, they will drag the trap away…and still die a slow and agonizing death.

Many people will choose to just throw the animal and trap into the garbage. Again, a slow and agonizing death. But the alternative, again is to dispatch the animal by hand and many people just don’t have the stomach for that. 

The other miserable thing about glue boards are the countless other things that get stuck on them. As you might guess, they are very sticky. Unfortunately, many people will put them out in the open outside. We have seen them stuck to the faces of opossum faces. They are notorious for catching lizards and snakes.

A little tip…if you ever find a glue board with a non-target animal stuck to it, pouring vegetable or oil on it will break down the glue and set it free.

The Owl Trap

It took some time to figure out how I could best use the The Owl Trap in my business. The thing is, compared to snap traps, glue boards and all the other traps, the Owl Trap is expensive. And of course, we are always taught, you can’t build a better mousetrap. 

 After a bit of research, it hit me. They are expensive for me to purchase but in the long run, the benefits outweigh the cost. And while the Owls cost me more upfront, they last MUCH longer and require WAY less maintenance and the best part…they solve nearly every problem we have with traps and poison 🙂

Give us a Call or Text to see if the Owl Traps are a fit for you. 


We offer discounts for Mobile Home Parks, Apartments Complexes, Condo Complexes and Commercial Buildings!