Just next to the Rue des Halles exit of Châtelet metro station in Paris is a shop that might look familiar to Pixar fans. Julien Arouze and Co. is a pest control shop that is not only famous for its inclusion in the film Ratatouille, but also for its century-old preserved rat bodies displayed hanging in the front window.
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A Historic Pest Control Shop
Julien Arouze and Co. has a classic Parisian shop facade that gives this shop a unique historic character. In the style of many boulangeries of Paris, it has a large sign above the shop, which translates to ‘Destruction of harmful animals.’ Julien Aurouze and Co. has been in operation since the 19th century – the shop first opened its doors in 1872, and has been running ever since.
The most interesting feature of the vitrine is surely the suspended rats, which have been hanging by the neck by steel traps since 1925. When asked about them, owner Cecilia Aurouze quotes “we’ll never take them down. They are the emblem of the store.” While an unconventional look, it certainly shows that the shop means business.
In order to stay afloat for well over a century, Julien Aurouze has had to keep up with the times. Indeed, while the dead rats have stayed the same, the methods of exterminating vermin has evolved. The store uses more modern ways to kill rats than traps – rat poison is a big seller, as well as bug-killing gas canisters, and glue traps. With plenty of rats, mice and cockroach problems in Paris, Julian Aurouze certainly has no problem finding customers.
The Pest Control Shop in Ratatouille
The pest control store attracts visitors for an entirely different reason, too. 2007’s beloved Pixar film Ratatouille featured the facade of Julien Aurouze and Co. in an ominous night time scene warning about the dangers of humans. The film is about Rémy, an ambitious rat who wants to work as a chef in Paris. Pointing out the rat traps and poisons in the window, the scene has Rémy’s dad warning Rémy what happens to rats when they get too comfortable in the world of humans. Unwilling to accept it, Rémy persists with his quest to become a chef.
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While Julien Aurouze and Co. is a pest control business and not a tourist attraction, and doesn’t have much to offer besides pest control solutions, it is certainly an interesting sight. The century-old mummified rats hanging in the window, the classic Parisian facade, and throwback to that scene in Ratatouille make this shop a fun photo op for anyone passing by on their way through Châtelet.
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