How Much Does a Rat Exterminator Cost?: 2019 Price Guide


The average cost to hire a rat exterminator is about $300 while prices can range between $100 to $500. There are many factors that can affect the cost of rat removal.

Factors that affect the cost include how many rats there are, the extent of how much damage the rats have done, and how difficult it is to access the job site. No one ever wants to deal with a rat problem, but in the unlucky case that you have one, in this article you’ll find a guide on how to deal with it, and how to prevent infestations in the future.

Average Rat Exterminator Cost

The average cost of rat removal is about $300 depending on the type of infestation. With a light outbreak, you will most likely need two visits from the exterminator. An inspection will be completed plus setting of the traps in the first visit. To set up ten rat traps, it can range between $100 to $575 depending on where you live. The second visit will be in two or three days when the rat exterminator returns to clear the traps and remove the rodents.

In a more severe case of rodent infestation, or if the infestation affects a large property, the cost falls in the $400-$500 range. The exterminator will visit at least three or four times to inspect your home, set the traps, remove the rats from traps and seal up any points of entry to avoid another infestation in the future.

The most severe cases could cost $1,000 or more depending on where there is serious damage. Critical areas could include basements and attics, where a more intense rat control treatment will be needed. The rat exterminator will have to make several visits to apply rodenticides, set a significant number of traps, undergo multiple clearing of the traps as well as maintenance and preventive services.

Factors Affecting Rat Removal Cost

There are factors which may affect the cost of removing rats from your property. The job may require tamper-resistant traps which may be needed to be removed by a professional.  It also depends on how many rats are present. You may see only one or two, but most likely there is a nest of rats somewhere in your home. It also depends on where the infestation is located. If you have an attic or a basement, then it could cost you more for the exterminator to ferret them out. Here are some of the factors that can affect rat removal cost.

Number of Entry Holes

Rats can enter a hole the size of a quarter to get into your home. When a rat exterminator checks for these entry holes, they look for all possible entry holes and then seal them shut. Rats can enter your home via the plumbing or sewer pipes and even come up through the toilet. Any vent can be an access point and cracks in the doors and windows. Rats have been known to enter the home through washer/dryer vent, the fascia on the roof and where the eaves meet the roof. So, depending on how many entry holes are found will depend on the extra cost

Amount of Trapping Required

Where the traps are set is crucial to catching the rats. One of the prime spots is the edges of the attic area. There are also different types of traps that can be used. Snap traps strong and will kill the rat instantly. Cage traps are used for people who want to go the humane route. But these traps don’t get the job done effectively, and displaced rats won’t survive long away from where they call home. Glue traps are another option but don’t work very well. Rats are good at avoiding these types of traps. For a light infestation, you may not need a lot of traps, whereas for a severe infestation, you could need more. More traps will mean a higher cost.

Amount of Cleanup Needed

The amount of cleanup needed can be extensive after a rat invasion. Rats can chew on electrical wires, shorting them out, and cause water damage by chewing open replumbing jobs. Rat droppings are a big issue since they can create a health hazard. Special chemicals need to be used for cleaning up after rat damage, and you may have to fog the area with a special cleaner. There are over twenty different types of diseases that rat droppings can cause, including Leptospirosis, Salmonellosis, or Hantavirus to name a few. It’s incredibly important that cleanup is done correctly, and this can drive the cost up.


Of course, entry holes need to be repaired after the exterminator finds and traps the rats and cleans up. Entry holes must be repaired with metal flashing or steel. Rats can chew through thick wood and even concrete. The only thing they can’t chew through is steel. Air flow will then be sealed off using caulk or polyurethane because if a rat smells on open cavity on the other side of a gap or hole, they’ll chew their way through.

Extermination Options

Chemicals called rodenticides are used by exterminations to eliminate the problem. The pesticide is applied through the bait stations which are placed throughout the infested area. The pesticides can contain either chlorophacinone, bromethalin or diphacinone. Each one acts in a different way.

However, if you prefer not to use a pesticide, there are other methods, such as traps. Wooden rat traps called snap traps are a good alternative. If the pan is set at a hair trigger, the success rate will be higher. Because the spring is so strong, it will kill the rat instantly.

If that type of a trap is upsetting, then you can always ask the exterminator to use a cage trap. This will trap the rat alive and the rat can be released outside away from your home.

DIY Rat Removal vs. Using Exterminator

DIY rat removal may be a good idea if there is only one rat that you’re dealing with. You can use a snap trap that you can buy at the local hardware store for a couple of dollars. Or you can use a cage trap if you don’t like the idea of killing the rats. But remember, rats can carry some serious diseases, so wear gloves and if the rat is dead be careful handling it. If it’s in the cage trap alive, be careful you don’t get bit.

Using an exterminator, on the other hand, is a safer and smarter way to go. You may think you only have one rat, but it’s possible that you may have a whole nest. A rat exterminator has experience in the industry for handling this type of problem. The exterminator has dealt with rat infestations over and over, so they know the procedure for safety, have warranties, know how to shut up entry holes, make repairs and complete the necessary cleanup.

Preventing Future Infestations

After the last visit from the rat exterminator, carefully keep an eye on your property for any further rodent movement. If the service you had comes with a warranty, then be sure to report any rodents or signs of rodents around your property. If another infestation happens within the warranty time frame, an additional service call won’t cost you anything.

It’s a good idea to talk to your neighbors about the rat problem, so they are aware. Sometimes rats will move out of one area and into another. But if your neighbors are aware, they can prevent infestations in their own homes, and hopefully you’ll live in a rat-free neighborhood.

Summary & Next Steps

Rats aren’t just simple pests. Rats can carry various bacteria that can cause serious illness. Plus, a rat infestation can even threaten the structural integrity of your home. They can make tunnels through your walls and gnaw on anything in their way. A small-scale invasion can quickly get out of hand. One female adult rat can have 5 to 7 litters a year. These litters mature in a month and then produce offspring of their own.

If you have a rat problem, find an exterminator near you.