An exceptionally warm spring has led to a big increase in the number of rats in the South West.
Mr Carey says using dogs is quick and efficient
Warrener Pat Carey from Tavistock said he had been inundated with demands to control the pests.
He uses dogs to catch the rodents which he says are despatched quickly and cleanly compared with poisoning. The RSPCA says this method is legal.
During April pest control calls to South Hams District Council rose by 47% compared with the same time last year.
In Plymouth the number of reports of infestation has risen from 1,257 in 2003/4 to 1,562 last year.
Mr Carey said: "Killing the rats with dogs is the kindest and quickest way.
"It's better than poisoning - they are dead almost as soon as the dogs grab them.
"You could shoot them at night but you have to wait a long time for them to come out."