The last thing you want to have to deal with in your home is a rat infestation. These little pests can be more than enough to make your squirm, and they can also carry a host of disease that can make your family sick if you get exposed to them. Rats can quickly turn from a minor inconvenience into a full-scale invasion. In fact, if you notice that the rats are leaving traces of their presence around your home, you might already have a problem that is bigger than you can deal with on your own. This could send you looking at rat extermination costs, especially when you notice problems outside of doing major renovations or remodels.
Getting rid of rats is usually a time consuming and multi-step process. How long it takes will depend on how severe your infestation is and how many entry points the rats have to get into your home. Your home’s condition will also factor in, and more cluttered or dirty areas are very enticing for rats to come in and make themselves at home. They can get into your floors, walls, basements, crawl spaces, and attics and wreak havoc by chewing on your electrical wires or eating your insulation. This is why it’s so important to know about rat extermination costs before you need them.
The average rat extermination costs start at $200 and go up to $800. If you call in a professional, they can cost upwards of $350. This includes the traps and bait needed to take care of a small infestation, and it also includes sealing easy to reach areas and entry points. If you want live removal for one or two rats, your rat extermination costs can be as low as $150. However, for baiting and trapping a large infestation, your rat extermination costs can easily jump to $1,200. This includes sealing off your entry points and treating an in-wall infestation.
As you can clearly see, it could be very difficult to nail down your total rat extermination costs until a professional comes in and gets a good read on the scope of the infestation. You could try to take this project on yourself, but you want them gone since they can carry serious diseases. So, it’s best to let a professional handle it. If you’re wondering which factors can influence your rat extermination costs, this is for you. We’ll break down everything you need to know about this project below.
Rats are an unwelcome visitor in many homes throughout the United States, and you want to get rid of them as soon as you see them because they multiply so quickly. Calling in an exterminator may seem extreme, but it’s a sure way of getting rid of all of them. Rat! By PINKE / CC BY-NC 2.0
Local and Rat Extermination Costs
How difficult it is to remove the rats will decide your rat extermination costs, and your location plays a big part. For example, if you have rats in your walls, this will be more to remove than if they’re in your basement. The company will have to demolish your drywall to get the rats out, and a few of the most popular locations with their rat extermination costs are:
For rat extermination costs in your attic, you’ll pay between $300 and $500. The exterminator will need complete access to your attic and crawl space to get rid of rats. They will put rat bait and traps throughout the space and leave them for a few days. Then, they’ll come back and remove any trapped rats. Any holes or gaps where the rats are getting into your attic will get repaired and sealed up to prevent them from returning.
For a barn, your rat extermination costs will run between $150 to $300. Finding rats nesting in the barn is very common, especially if your barn is a working barn that routinely stores grains or feed. The best prevention method you have is to store all of these items in metal containers that have tight-fitting lids. You should also routinely sweep up feed that can spill onto the floor. Your exterminator will pick out an animal-friendly method of getting rid of the rats to protect your dogs, cats, or livestock.
Rats really enjoy the quiet underground feel a basement brings, especially if you have dehumidifiers running to keep it cool and dry. Your rat extermination costs will run from $200 up to $1,200. These areas are also largely unfinished and undisturbed by humans, and this makes it a perfect nesting place. Rats can also very easily live in your basement ceiling. The infestation level varies greatly depending on how quickly you notice it before the rats start multiplying in this area.
To get rid of rats before, during, or after your bathroom remodel, your rat extermination prices will vary from $150 to $200 on average. Rats are looking for a consistent water source, in addition to food. They can easily travel through the drain and sewer pipes to get into your home. The best deterrent is keeping a dry and clean space. Rats have been found in toilets before, and they’re strong swimmers and difficult to drown. If you find one, close the lid, weigh it down, and call an exterminator.
Rat extermination costs for the bedroom range from $150 to $200. Rats are typically more interested in being in quieter areas of the house, but it’s still possible to find them in the bedroom. It’s very common in older homes or homes with areas that look attractive to the rats. Eating in your bedroom and not cleaning up is an open invitation too. This isn’t very common today though, so unless they’re in the walls, it’s rare to find them in the bedroom since you use this room each day.
If you have rats in your ceiling or drop ceiling, your rat extermination costs can climb between $200 and $1,200. Rats can hide in your ceiling rafters and shuttle from one area to the next, and they’re very active at night. This makes the rats more difficult to find because you don’t see them. You may hear them, but they can be very quiet. You’ll need to have your exterminator climb up into the rafters, put out poison or traps, and come back in a few days to get rid of the rats. The harder access point plus the increased work can make your prices go up.
Did you know that rats can get under your concrete foundation? The rat extermination costs range from $200 to $500 to get rid of them if you find them here. Installing a concrete foundation is a great deterrent to keep rats out. However, houses that have a wood foundation or concrete blocks have gaps that are perfect for rat nests.
To keep them out, you’ll want to add a sealed skirting around the area. Make a point to continuously check for small gaps or holes that the rats could use to enter your home. The exterminator will come in and place poison or traps underneath the house and leave it for a few days before coming back to remove the dead rats. It can get expensive very quickly, depending on the extent of the infestation and the size of your home.
Getting rats out of your HVAC system can cost between $500 and $1,200. Rats will crawl into this area to get warm when the temperature starts to drop. This can result in very expensive repairs since the rats can and will chew through the ducts and electrical work while they’re in here. Additionally, fecal matter spores can get into your home and make you sick. Your rat extermination costs are higher because this is usually considered to be a difficult access point.
Finding evidence that rats have taken up residence if your kitchen can be a nasty feeling since you keep all of your food here. However, the kitchen is one of the rat’s favorite areas to be because they can find crumbs on the floor or chew through plastic to eat cereal, bread, rice, and other food. To treat rats in your kitchen, the average rat extermination costs range from $200 to $500. This includes setting up traps and a follow-up visit to clear out the rats.
If you have rats in your lawn, you might consider killing the grass to clear it out, but they may not get rid of them. Rats like to eat nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Planting vegetables, fruit trees, or nut trees in your garden can draw them in to eat. You can make sure that everything gets picked up and clear the ground right away to take away their food source.
Your professional can treat the yard and get rid of the rats, and your average rat extermination costs range from $200 to $250. Control is an ongoing process, so make a point to routinely cut back your plants, shrubs, and grass. Put your garbage can lid on tight to keep them out.
The average rat extermination costs to set traps in the pantry range from $150 to $200. Rats in the panty leave a lot of obvious signs. Packaged foods make an easy meal for these pests due to their chewing power. Chewing through plastic bags or cardboard containers to get to the food will keep rats coming back again and again.
If you’re fixing or replacing your roof and you notice rat damage, you could pay rat extermination costs of $450 to $600. A roof rat is more commonly called a ship rat. The rats like to get in through the eaves or holes in your attic. It can be more expensive to get rid of these rats because they get in difficult access areas that require ladders to get to them. Additionally, you’ll want them to seal these entryways to prevent the rats from coming in again.
Since sheds tend to be smaller, even if you turned your shed into a playhouse, so your rat extermination costs tend to be lower. Rats like to live underneath sheds, and it should only need a big trap or two to get rid of them. You’ll pay between $100 and $150. However, rats can come back because underneath sheds are dark, and there is plenty to chew on.
So, your exterminator may use poison rat bait. To deter them, keep the area around the shed, garden, or compost pile clean and weeded. Block out your entrances and remember that rats can squeeze in through holes as small as a quarter.
If the rat is in your stove, you will most likely only need a single trap. Your rat extermination costs should only be around $100 or $150. Rats constantly forge for food, so it’s not unusual to surprise one hiding in or under your stove. However, they don’t normally stay for long.
To remove rats under your floorboards, your exterminator will have to do a huge amount of work. This is why your rat extermination costs will range from $500 to $1,200. Having them living under your floorboards is just like having them under the house itself. They enter the space using a raised floorboard system that has entry points with bad seals or they’ve developed small gaps or holes.
You may hear the rats scratching under your floorboards. You’ll have to have your exterminator crawl under your house, remove the bottom layer of your home’s foundation, and set a range of traps. They could also spray poison at the entry points, but this can mean you have dead and decaying rats under your floorboards.
Your rat extermination costs to get them out of your walls ranges from $450 to $600. Removing rats from your walls is a much more invasive process because the exterminator will have to open up the plaster or drywall and you’ll have to replace it at the end. The exterminator will bring bait and traps. If the rats happen to die in your walls, the smell will be terrible. Also, bacteria from the rat’s urine can seep through the walls and cause health issues. So, you may find yourself replacing full walls.
Removing rats from indoors can be easier then removing them from outdoors, but some spaces in your home are more expensive because they’re harder for the exterminator to access. Rat by Sergey Yeliseev / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Severity of the Infestation and Price Points
Along with the location, how severe your problem is will impact your rat extermination costs. It can be challenging to determine how severe it is until your exterminator comes in and sets up traps. A small infestation typically needs 10 traps with a price tag of $150 to $400. The professional will come back in a few days to remove any dead rats and get rid of them.
A bigger rat infestation requires the exterminator to bring in more bait and traps, and this can drive your rat extermination costs up. Depending on the visits needed and the number of traps, this will dictate your final price tag. Bigger properties or areas that went a while without any treatment can fall into the severe infestation category, and the rats can cause significant damage at these levels. Your average rat extermination costs by severity level are:
- Small Infestation – $150 to $400
- Large Infestation – $500 to $800
- Severe Infestation – $1,000 to $1,200
Control Frequency and Costs
If your exterminator is concerned that your infestation has spread throughout the entire home or property, it’s wise to treat the entire area. This usually involves setting traps and bait, sealing your entry points, and treating wall infestations. If you want a one-time service, your average rat extermination costs are $200 to $500.
However, a lot of companies will recommend a regular service to ensure the rats don’t come back. Monthly service can cost between $30.00 and $60.00 with quarterly service running between $100 and $300. These prices included the first treatment and any return visits they schedule.
Some companies will charge a set fee up to a specific square footage. Once you reach this cap, you could pay between $10.00 and $50.00 for every 1,000-square feet. Fumigation is an absolute last resort, and your rat extermination costs for this service run between $1.00 and $3.00 a square foot.
You may want to get rid of the rats on your own to cut down on your rat extermination costs, but this is a disgusting and dangerous job. Professionals have the experience needed and get special training in dealing with rat extermination and cleanup. The risks include contracting certain illnesses or getting bitten by a rat. Rats do carry rabies and other diseases too.
A lot of exterminators will charge a flat rate and they could have a return visit fee to get rid of any dead rats. However, the hourly rate for labor ranges from $20.00 to $60.00. The flat rat extermination costs usually varies from $200 to $500. Some companies do offer a free inspection and some charge between $150 to $300 for the inspection. Costs will fluctuate depending on your location.
Labor costs can take up a significant portion of your rat extermination costs, especially if you have a more severe problem. Some companies charge per visit, so your prices will go up the more they have to come back and treat it. Rat by Sueseusue / CC BY-SA 2.0
A small infestation of rats can take up to 15 hours to treat. They’ll schedule a second visit to remove the traps and any dead rats. Many companies include the cost of your second visit in the original rat extermination cost range of $200 to $500. They may need to schedule subsequent visits to deal with the problem at $50.00 to $150 a visit. Larger or more severe infestations, bigger properties, or homes with rats in hard to access areas could increase the time and price to around $1,200 and several weeks.
Popular Rat Control Methods
Getting rid of rats can be very messy. There are several different methods professionals use, and they can tailor their methods to your specific infestation. Most of the following have prices that fall between $100 and $300 when professionals use them to get rid of your rat infestation:
- Baiting rat trap
- Bait station
- Electric rat trap
- Live rat trap
- Rat glue trap
- Snap rat trap
Price for Rat Exclusion
Rat exclusion is a protective step you can take to prevent rats from entering your home by eliminating areas that could become attractive for rats to be. However, there is a very fine line between sealing the entry areas in your home and blocking necessary air flow. If the home gets sealed too tightly, this can lead to moisture buildup and mold growth.
A rat exclusion expert will check for holes or gaps that you might miss. In addition, specific types of framing can leave gaps that invite rats in. Professionals will bring in a sealant called an elastomeric instead of plain caulk. This is a breathable product that works very well to seal gaps or holes, and your rat extermination costs for this service range from $200 to $600.
Cost to Remove Dead Rats
One of the worst aspects of rat removal is dealing with the deceased rats. Cleaning up rat messes or dealing with dead rats puts you at risk for contracting diseases or illnesses like Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Salmonellosis, Lymphocytic, Hemorrhagic Fever, rabies, or Rat-Bite Fever. A professional-grade company will have the necessary supplies to safely remove dead rats. You’ll pay between $150 to $250 for this service, no matter the infestation size.
Emergency Rat Removal Prices
A lot of companies do offer emergency rat removal. An emergency could occur if you discover a very aggressive rat or if there is an extensive infestation that is negatively impacting your home life. Your exterminator can perform emergency rat removal but setting traps with bait before returning a few days later to inspect your property more thoroughly. This does have a higher rat extermination cost with it at $300 to $500 for the initial visit.
Indoor Rat Removal vs. Outdoor Rat Removal Prices
Having rats in your home can be one of the easier problems to have because they’re much more visible. An exterminator will set out bait and traps and seal any tempting entry points to avoid having the rats come back. In a few days, they’ll come back and remove any dead rats, perform necessary cleanup, and do any repairs. Your rat extermination costs range from $200 to $350 for indoor removal.
The company will take care of any outdoor rats just like they would indoor ones. The difference is that outdoor rats can come back much quicker if you don’t take steps to make changes and clean up your landscaping. Keeping grass and weeds cut back, putting a lid on your garbage can, feeding indoor pets inside, and getting rid of bird feeders can all deter rats. You’ll pay between $200 and $450 for this service.
Rat Removal vs. Rat Extermination Costs
It’s typically more effective to opt for rat extermination because it uses bait to entice the rats out before they die. It’s also more expensive because it includes sealing off entry points, bait, traps, and removing the dead rats from the property. A small infestation will run between $200 and $500 on average.
Live rat removal is the act of trapping the rats in a live trap and removing them to another area. However, this can also result in rats dying because they get released in a rural area where water and food sources are lean. This method costs between $150 and $300.
Where to Find Rat Exterminators Near You
If you want to get more solid rat extermination costs, you should contact local companies and get estimates. These will be rough estimates until the company knows the extent of the infestation, but it’s a good starting point. You can look here:
Frequently Asked Questions
When you contact local companies or when the exterminator comes to your property, make sure to ask any questions you have. This can help you follow along with the process and get a good understanding on why your costs are what they are at the end. Rat by Airwolfhound / CC BY-SA 2.0
1. Does pest control work on rats?
Applying chemical pest control can be effective as a treatment for rats. However, it isn’t the safest method for people. Rat extermination companies generally choose to use bait and traps rather than rodenticide because it’s safe in general.
2. When is a good time to call an exterminator?
If you see an actual rat or rat droppings, call in an exterminator. Rats can multiply very quickly. The quicker you respond to finding signs of them, the better off you’re going to be. If you see one rat, there are most likely a lot more hiding.
3. How long does it take to get rid of rats?
Small rat infestations can take up to 15 hours to treat. Larger infestations can spread out over several days. The length of time the treatment takes will depend on how large your property is, where the rats are, and the severity levels of the infestation.
4. Do you need a permit to get rid of rats?
No, it’s not required to get a permit to treat rat infestations. However, your exterminator should have experience and training in dealing with them. Every state has different rodent and pest control certifications. The EPA has the Pesticide Operator Core Exam that serves as a certification. You can check on the BBB website to find out information about any companies you contact too.
Rat extermination prices can fluctuate, but this can be a slightly lower-cost project for your home since it usually caps out at $1,200. Call an exterminator as soon as you spot signs of rats and ask for quotes. They can come out and do an inspection, give their recommendations, and get rid of your rats to make your home healthier and safer for your family.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.