By Anna Jones, contributor
An onslaught of construction work has brought forth complaints about traffic and early morning work hours in the Atlanta Beltline neighborhoods. However, there is a singular prevalent problem that is seemingly rearing its ugly head more often than traffic jams: rodents.
Many Atlanta residents are reporting rodent infestations, with rats, mice, and squirrels being the most common source of homeowner and renter ire. Preventing a rodent infestation in the city of Atlanta seems nearly impossible – and those in the affluent neighborhoods are no longer immune.
With plans moving forward to revitalize commercial and residential areas in East Lake, Reynoldstown, and many other Beltline neighborhoods, the upheaval of animal homes has turned into a problem. Rehoming squirrels may be possible, but even the most dedicated animal-lover may not want to relocate a rat.
April Lloyd of Edgewood said, “If the issue is not addressed soon, I believe it will continue to get worse over the next few years. There are so many developments on the table from Reynoldstown through East Lake, and I think someone on the city level needs to speak up!”
Residents in neighborhoods like Edgewood, East Atlanta Village (EAV), Candler Park, Lake Claire, and Kirkwood have reportedly had rat, mice, and squirrel infestations. Homeowners in these areas have frequently cited the correlation between new homes and businesses being built in these areas, and have claimed that despite their best efforts at cleanliness, their homes have been inundated with pests.
Some say that their neighbors are to blame – they may notice a rat problem in the basements, attics, or crawlspaces of their homes, and then do nothing to control it, letting the rodents thrive in an environment of apathy.
Abundant remedies are available to homeowners for controlling – and hopefully, eradicating – the rodent population in and around their homes. Pest control experts and exterminators are the most often utilized method of prevention and care, though some homeowners claim to use more old-fashioned means, like having cats as pets.
Some residents wish that developers would take preventative measures to ensure that a rodent infestation does not become a problem in the first place. Susanne Pesterfield of Candler Park, stated, “I really wish that developers had to pay for extermination for a certain radius around projects. I use granules in rat nests, but it’s not a happy solution, because I don’t want to poison anyone’s cat or the owl in the neighborhood.”
Other methods of prevention include cage traps, poison to quell breeding, and the Victor Electronic Rat Trap (which uses “smart circuit technology” sensors that send an alert when a rat is inside).
It seems that if neighborhood residents can agree to band together to control rodent infestations within their homes and businesses by taking preventative measures, perhaps the rats, mice, and others pests will migrate elsewhere. While the argument can made that prevention is key, there are no signs of development dying down, so it is the hope of Beltline residents that the pest population soon will.