You might have a rat infestation in your home even if you have never seen an actual rat. These pests are nocturnal, so you’re more likely to see their droppings, nests, or footprints than you are to come across the animals themselves. Scratching sounds in the walls and holes chewed in drywall or food containers are other common signs of a rat problem.
While you might be able to deal with one or two rats on your own, these pests breed so quickly that even a few of them can multiply until the problem is out of hand. In this case, you’ll need to call a professional pest control company to take care of the infestation. We’ll go over the costs of both DIY and professional rat control solutions and provide some tips on how to find the right exterminator for you and your home.
Average Rat Extermination Cost
Professional rat extermination tends to cost between $172 and $520, with an average cost of $342. However, extermination prices could be as high as $1,200 or more depending on the size of your rat infestation.
Many pest control companies offer full-service treatments to get rid of your rodent issue, which typically include getting rid of the rats or mice, clean-up services, and sealing any entry holes around your home. See the table below for a pricing breakdown.
|Type of Rat Extermination||Price Range|
|Average rat removal||$172-$520|
|Initial pest control visit||$150-$300|
|DIY methods (10 traps)||$10-$600|
Factors That Affect Rat Extermination Pricing
Many factors go into determining the price of rat extermination, which is why pest control companies usually perform an inspection before providing a cost estimate. Here are a few factors that may impact the price of rodent control.
Location of the Infestation
If an infestation is in an out-of-the-way or difficult-to-reach place, it will be harder to treat. While it’s hard to say exactly how much extermination will cost based on the location, know that infestations in an outdoor space or in occupied interior rooms of the house like a kitchen or bathroom will be on the lower end of the pricing spectrum. Alternatively, infestations under foundations, in ceilings, under floorboards, or in heating ducts are likely to be on the higher end.
Severity of the Infestation
The number of rats you’re dealing with also factors into the price to get rid of them. Larger infestations will take more time and money to remove. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine the extent of a rat problem until an exterminator has actually set the traps. The most severe infestations will likely cost over $1,000 to remove.
Type of Removal Service
If you want wildlife control to use live traps to trap and remove the rodents, this will add at least $50 to the overall treatment cost since you’re paying for the technician to drive the rats away from your home.
Fumigation for rats is usually a last resort, since it’s such an expensive and disruptive treatment. This usually costs between $1 and $3 per square foot, so a 2,000-square-foot house would cost between $2,000 and $6,000 to fumigate. Fortunately, most mice and rat infestations can be controlled with traps.
DIY Rat Removal vs. Using an Exterminator
When considering professional rat removal costs, you may be wondering if you could just do the job yourself with rat traps or poison. While you may be able to take on some smaller infestations yourself, you need to be aware of some of the risks of DIY methods. Compare DIY rat removal and professional extermination options below.
DIY Rat Removal
The two main methods of DIY rat extermination are traps and poison. Here are some common trap and poison options:
- The standard snap trap breaks a rat’s neck to kill it. This is the cheapest kind of trap, costing $1–$2 each, but it’s also difficult to set properly and can harm fingers and toes.
- Jaw traps are a more sophisticated version of a snap trap. They cost $4–$8 each, and their large plastic jaws close with less force, suffocating the rat.
- Glue traps are highly effective but inhumane, since they hold the rat in place and kill it by starvation or dehydration. These sticky pads cost between $3 and $12 and are not reusable.
- The most humane method to get rid of rats is the use of live traps, which capture the rat but don’t injure or kill it. Once a rat is captured, you’ll need to release the rat at least one mile from your home for the trap to be effective. These traps cost between $10 and $25.
- Bait stations use poisoned bait to kill rats. These stations cost about $12–$20 each, but keep in mind that poison can take several days to work, and rats may die inside your walls or other hard-to-reach places.
- Electronic traps lure the rat in and use a high-voltage shock to kill it. These are relatively humane, safe for children and pets, and easy to use, but they cost between $30 and $60 each.
If you have pets or children, take extra caution when using DIY rat removal methods.
- Steel traps can hurt your pet—or even a child’s fingers—as easily as a rat, so consider using a live trap as an alternative.
- Never leave poison or poisoned bait out in the open—use a tamper-resistant bait station instead.
- Even if you try your best to keep your pet away from the rat poison, they could accidentally eat or chew on a poisoned rat and become sick. If this happens, take them to an emergency vet immediately for treatment.
Using an Exterminator
Some experts recommend placing at least three traps in your home for every rodent. If you’re dealing with a large infestation, your home could quickly become overrun with traps, which you would have to check and empty frequently. If you don’t want to have traps all over your home, or you’re worried about your children or pets getting into traps, consider hiring a professional rat exterminator.
Many pest control companies offer free estimates of their services before starting treatment so you have a better idea of how much the extermination will cost.
Questions To Ask a Rat Exterminator
When you’re deciding between companies, here are some questions you can ask to give you a better idea of whom to hire:
- Is your company licensed and insured?
- What types of treatments do you offer?
- How much experience do your technicians have with removing rats?
- Do you provide a written estimate?
- How do you identify the location of the rat infestation?
- Are the products or traps that you use safe for pets and/or children?
- Do you offer a guarantee? How long does it last?
Tips To Help You Avoid Future Rat Infestations
Once you’ve rid your home of rats, keep them out by employing the following strategies:
- Seal cracks and holes in your home’s walls, roof, attic, basement, and foundation with steel wool and caulk.
- Store food (including pet food) in sturdy containers with fitted lids.
- Put screens on air vents.
- Trim trees, bushes, and other vegetation back from exterior walls.
- Eliminate sources of standing water inside and outside your home.
- Remove potential nesting sites, including debris and leaf piles, from your yard.
- Close garbage cans.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rat Extermination
How long does it take to get rid of rats?
Exterminators usually need anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to remove rats from your home. The overall time it takes to remove the rats will depend on the location and severity of the infestation.
What is rodent exclusion?
Rodent exclusion refers to the process of keeping rats out of your house using the methods listed above. In general, rodent exclusion is included in the total price of professional rat extermination.
How can I repel rats from my house?
If you’re constantly dealing with rodents, despite employing exclusion methods, you can try repelling rats from your home with products that use either scents or ultrasonic noise. Unfortunately, both of these methods seem to have mixed results, so do your best to seal rats out of your house before purchasing new repellent products.
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