How Much Does a Rat Exterminator Cost?

Average range: $200 - $800
Average Cost
(Bait and trap of small infestation, sealing entry points, and easy to reach areas)

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How Much Does a Rat Exterminator Cost?

Average range: $200 - $800
Average Cost
(Bait and trap of small infestation, sealing entry points, and easy to reach areas)

Get free estimates from animal/pest control specialists near you
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Reviewed by Irene Pomares. Written by

The last thing that anyone wants is a rat infestation. These pesky little creatures are not only enough to make you squirm, but they also carry diseases that can make you and your family sick. Rats can quickly become a huge problem In fact, once you see evidence of these furry rodents, you already have a bigger problem than you know.

Rat extermination can be time-consuming, depending on the number of rats and the extent of entry areas where the rats are coming in. The national average for extermination ranges from $200 to $800. The average cost for professional rat extermination is $350, including bait and trap of a small infestation, sealing entry points, and easy to reach areas. It can cost as little as $150 for a live removal of one or two rats or as much as $1,200 for baiting and trapping a large infestation, sealing entry points, and treating an in-wall infestation.

Rat Extermination Cost

Cost to Exterminate Rats
National Average Cost$350
Average Range$200-$800
Minimum Cost$150
Maximum Cost​$1,200

Rat Extermination Cost by Project Range

Live removal of 1-2 rats
Average Cost
Bait and trap of small infestation, sealing entry points, and easy to reach areas
Bait and trap of large infestation, sealing entry points, and in wall infestation

Rat Control Cost by Frequency

When there is a concern that the rat infestation has extended to the entire home, it is wise to treat the whole home. This involves setting bait and traps, sealing any entry points, and treating any wall infestations. A one-time service will cost around $200 to $500. Most exterminators will recommend a regular service to keep rats away permanently. Monthly service may run you $35 to $60 and quarterly $100 to $300. This would include an initial treatment and return visits as needed. Some exterminators charge a set fee up to a certain number of square feet and then $10 to $50 for each additional 1,000 sq, ft. Fumigation is a last resort. If necessary, the cost is $1 to $3 per square foot.

Cost to Control Rats Monthly, Quarterly, or in One Time

Cost to Control Rats Monthly, Quarterly, or in One Time

Monthly$35 - $60
Quarterly$100 - $300
One-time$200 - $500

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Rat Exterminator Prices by Severity of Infestation

It is sometimes difficult to determine the severity of an infestation until the exterminator sets traps. Generally, a small rat infestation requires ten traps at the cost of $150 to $400. The expert returns within two to three days to remove the dead rats and dispose of them. A large rat infestation requires additional rat traps and visits. This can cost as much as $500 to $800, depending on the number of traps and visits needed. Larger properties or situations that have gone on for a period without treatment are considered a severe rat infestation and cost as much as $1,000 to $1,200.

Cost to Exterminate a Small, Large, or Severe Rat Infestation

Cost to Exterminate a Small, Large, or Severe Rat Infestation

Severity of infestationCost
Small rat infestation$150 - $400
Large rat infestation$500 - $800
Severe rat infestation$1,000 - $1,200

Rat Extermination Cost by Location

The difficulty of removal is often determined by the location of your rat problem. For example, rats that are in the wall are going to end up costing more to remove. This is because the walls will have to be demolished to get the rats out. Some different locations of rats are:

Cost to Exterminate Rats in Shed, in Stove, in Bedroom, in Pantry, in Bathroom, in Barn, in Lawn...

Cost to Exterminate Rats in Shed, in Stove, in Bedroom, in Pantry, in Bathroom, in Barn, in Lawn...

Shed$100 - $150
Stove$100 - $150
Bedroom$150 - $200
Pantry$150 - $200
Bathroom$150 - $200
Barn$150 - $300
Lawn$200 - $250
Under Foundation$200 - $500
Kitchen$200 - $500
Basement$200 - $1,200
Attic$300 - $500
Ceiling$300 - $1,200
Roof$450 - $600
Walls$450 - $600
Under Floorboards$500 - $1,200
Heating Ducts$500 - $1,200

How to Get Rid of Rats under Shed

Costs to get rid of rats under a shed is less expensive than other areas as it is a small space. It should only require one or two traps and one return visit at the cost of approximately $100 to $150. Rats love getting under sheds. It is a dark place to hide, and there are many things to chew on under there. Some ways to get rid of rats under a shed is through the use of rat bait. Keeping the area around the shed, compost pile, or garden clean and weeded deters rats from returning. Also, blocking the entrances under the shed help. Remember rats can enter through a hole the size of a quarter.

Rats in Stove

One trap should be enough to ensure a rat is gone from your stove. This service should cost no more than $100 to $150. Since rats constantly forage for food, it's not unusual to find one hiding in or under your stove. The good news is that they don’t normally stay there.

How to Get Rid of Rats in Bedroom

Costs would be around $150 to $200 to get rid of rats in the bedroom. While rats are usually more interested in other areas of the house, you may find you have rats in your bedroom. This could happen in older homes or homes with areas of entry that are attractive to the creatures. Eating in the bedroom can also be an invitation to these guys. Most of the time, unless the rats are in the walls, rat presence in the bedroom isn’t huge.

Rats in Pantry

An expert can set traps to catch and remove the rats from a pantry for around $150 to $200. If you have rats in your pantry, you will know it pretty quickly. Packaged food is an easy meal for rats with sharp teeth. Chewing through the plastic and getting to the good stuff inside keeps rats coming back for more.

How to Get Rid of Rats in Bathroom

An exterminator charges around $150 to $200 to get rid of rats in the bathroom. In addition to food, rats are looking for a water source. That is why they are often spotted in bathrooms. They can travel through the sewer and drain pipes to arrive in your home. Again, the best deterrent is a clean, dry space. Rats have also been found in toilets, and it is a puzzling matter to know how to get rid of rats in the toilet! These creatures don’t easily drown as they are strong swimmers. The best thing to do is close the lid, place something heavy on top of it, and call an exterminator!

How to Get Rid of Rats in Barn

The cost for this type of rat extermination would cost around $150 to $300. Finding rats in your barn is typical as this is where all of the feed and grains are stored. The best prevention is to store all of these items in metal containers with a tight fighting lid. Also, keep feed swept up that may spill out onto the floor. An exterminator will most likely choose an animal-friendly option to protect against harm to the livestock, cats, and dogs.

How to Get Rid of Rats in Lawn

A one-time treatment of your lawn will cost you $200 to $250. Rats enjoy eating fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Fruit or nut trees or vegetables planted in a garden draw the creatures in for a feast. Ensure that anything on the ground is cleaned up immediately to prevent further problems. An exterminator can treat your yard to kill the rats. Yard rat control is an ongoing process, so keep grass, shrubs, and plants cut back and the garbage can lid on to deter more problems.

Rats Under Foundation

You should expect to pay at least $200 to $500 to get rid of rats under your foundation. A typical concrete foundation is the best way to keep rats out of your foundation. However, homes on concrete blocks or with a wood foundation always have a large gap underneath the house. This is the perfect place for rats to make a home. The best way to keep them out to begin with is to build a strong, sealed skirting around the area. The homeowner should continuously check for holes or small gaps that could become an entryway for rats. An exterminator places traps or poison underneath the house and then removes the dead rats. The cost for this can become extensive depending on the size of the house and the extent of the infestation.

Rats in Kitchen

Finding evidence of rats in your kitchen is disheartening since it is the place where you have all your food. However, it is one of the little pest’s favorite places as they can find crumbs and chew through the plastic to eat bread, rice, cereal, and other foods. An exterminator will generally charge around $200 to $500 to treat rats in the kitchen. This includes ten traps and a follow-up visit to remove the dead rats.

Rats in Basement

The cost to rid your basement of these guys can be as much as $200 to $1,200. Rats enjoy the quiet, underground feel of a basement. Additionally, these areas are often unfinished, damp, and undisturbed by humans. This makes them the perfect place to nest and forage. Also, rats may live in a basement ceiling. The amount of infestation varies greatly depending on how quickly it is found before they multiply in the basement area.

Rats in Attic Removal Cost

Expect to pay around $300-$500 to remove rats in your attic. For rats in the attic, the exterminator will need to access your attic and crawl space. They will place traps and rat bait in several areas. In a couple of days, the exterminator will come back and remove the rats from the traps. Any gaps or holes where the rats are getting in will be sealed up and repaired.

How to Get Rid of Rats in Ceiling

To get rid of rats in the ceiling, the cost could be anywhere from $300 to $1,200. Rats sometimes hide in the rafters and shuttle from one area to another within the ceilings, particularly at night. This makes them hard to find because you never know where they are unless you hear them, and they can be very quiet. An exterminator will need to climb up into the rafters, place the traps or poison, and return in a couple of days to dispose of the rats. The cost for this may be expensive due to the amount of work and harder access.

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Walls

The cost of removing rats in the walls is $450-$600. Rats in the walls are a more extensive job as the drywall will need to be opened up and then replaced. The exterminator will use traps and bait. If rats die in the walls, the smell is awful. In addition, the bacteria from urine can seep through the walls and cause a myriad of illnesses.

Roof Rat Extermination Cost

For roof rat removal cost, expect to pay $450 to $600. A roof rat is also called a ship rat. These critters like entering the home through eaves and other holes towards the top of the home. It may be more expensive to remove these rats as they are generally located in places that require the use of a ladder system and possibly within the eaves of the home. Additionally, you will want the entryways sealed to discourage further rats.

How to Get Rid of Rats Under Floorboards

Because of the amount of work required, you should expect to pay $500 to $1,200 to remove rats under the floorboards. Having rats under the floorboards is similar to having them under the house. Rats enter through a raised floorboard system with entry points that are either not sealed correctly or have developed small holes or gaps over the years. Sometimes homeowners hear the rats scratching under the floorboards. This is a creepy sound. A professional will need to crawl under the house, remove the bottom layer of the foundation, and set traps. The exterminator could spray the poison into the entry points, resulting in dead rats under the floorboards.

Rats in Heating Ducts

The homeowner will pay around $500 to $1,200 to get rats out of the heating ducts. Rats will crawl into heating ducts to get warm when it is cold. This can create expensive repairs as rats will chew through the ducts and electrical work. Additionally, the spores from the fecal matter can make their way into your home and make the occupants sick. It is a more expensive fix as heating ducts are not easily accessible.

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Labor Cost to Exterminate Rats

Exterminating rats on your own is a dangerous and disgusting job. Professionals are trained and experienced in dealing with the ins and outs of extermination and clean-up. The risks include certain illnesses as well as the risk of being bitten by a rat.

Most professional rat extermination companies will charge a flat rate and possibly a return visit fee to remove dead rats. However, the going hourly rate is $20-$60. The flat rate is typically $200-$500. Some companies will provide a free inspection, while others will charge a rat inspection cost of $150-$300. Costs will vary from state to state.

How Long Does It Take to Exterminate Rats

A small infestation can take as much as 15 hours to treat. A second visit is always necessary to remove traps and dead rats. Many professionals will include the 2nd visit in the flat rate cost of $200-$500. However. subsequent visits may be needed and will be at an additional charge of $50-$150 per visit. More extensive infestations, larger homes and rat problems that are in hard to reach areas can increase the time and cost to as much as $1,200.

Rat Control Methods

Exterminating rats is a messy business. So, you may be asking how to get rid of rats? There are several different methods used by professionals. Most of the methods indicated below fall within the range of $100-$300 when done by professionals to exterminate or remove rats.

Snap Rat Trap

They are effective in a situation with only 1 or 2 rats. The consumer is left with disposing of the dead rat. These traps may be dangerous for household pets and children. It is not the most humane way to deal with the problem, but it is quick and easy. These traps may be dangerous for household pets and children as the trap may go off when touched and injure a child or pet.

Rat Glue Trap

These sticky traps are chemical-free and safe for children and animals. If you are an animal lover, this might not be the best choice as it isn’t humane. The death is slow as the rodent is stuck in the glue and struggles to escape for several hours before dying. This also leaves the dead animal hanging around until the exterminator returns.

Live Rat Trap

Live rat traps are a more humane way to capture and then release rats back into the wild. Some rodent capture companies will use these traps and dispose of the animal for you. The rats are taken to a faraway location in a habitat that is more conducive to living without humans around to pester.

Rat Bait Station

A bait station is not a trap. It is a small box that holds the bait. The rat goes in, steals the bait, and later dies. It is a safe alternative as the bait is contained and cannot be removed by children or pets. This method can result in you finding the dead animal before the exterminator has a chance to come back and dispose of it.

Baiting Rat Trap

A safe option for children and families, baiting rat traps contain a poison within the baiting box. This box should be tamper proof for safety reasons to prevent little ones or pets from accessing the bait. Most baiting rat traps close after the rat enters to keep the body contained until the exterminator can return and get rid of it.

Electric Rat Trap

Electric rat traps deliver a high-voltage shock for immediate death. This is considered more humane as there is no delay. This isn’t the best option for those with small children or pets for obvious reasons. These could be used in hidden places such as the attic or a garage where access is difficult.


Rodenticides are pesticides specifically made to kill rodents. The rodenticide is generally placed in a bait box that attracts the rodents so it is safe from curious children or pets. These are basically the same thing as a baiting rat trap or rat bait station so heed warnings about the safety of this option.

Cost Factors to Get Rid of Rats

There are several factors that determine the cost of getting rid of rats. If you catch the problem early on, you may not have a lot of rats. However, keep in mind the quick rate that rats reproduce, so even if you just see one, there may be more! The more rats you have, the more traps need to be set. It also depends on the location of the rats and how extensive the damage is. The urine smell is a particular concern as it seeps into walls, carpet, and other flooring. Entry holes can add to the cost as well if there are many that need to be sealed. Nests are also an issue as removal of them is important since the rats often urinate and possibly die in the nest.

Cute rat on white background

Signs of Rat Infestation

If you aren’t paying attention, you may miss some of the early signs of a rat problem. Such rat in a house signs as droppings, nighttime scratching noises, chewed power cords or gnawed wires, holes in walls or ceiling, visible burrows or nests, chewed or missing food, grease smears on walls, flooring or cupboards, and a musky smell. If a rat dies, the odor will be extreme.

It is vital to get treatment for a rat issue as early as possible. Numbers can grow quickly as reproduction occurs at an alarming rate. The population increase, the possible diseases they carry, and the damage that can ensue are all good reasons to hire a professional as soon as possible.

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When to Call An Exterminator for Rats

Seeing a rat is horrifying. Most people run to call an exterminator. However, if you wait until you see the rat, you may have a very big problem. These pesky creatures like to hide and don’t normally forage for food except at night. If you spot one during the day, he is a desperate soul as his buddies have eaten all of the food. This means there are more of them.

It is wise to call an exterminator immediately and not try to DIY your rat infestation. An exterminator knows where to look, what to look for, and how to handle it to ensure the rats are gone quickly. If left untreated, rodents will multiply, and before you know it, eat you out of house and home.

Rats Infestation Health Risks

According to the CDC, the health risks associated with cohabiting with rats are great. Diseases that are carried or created by rats are as follows:

  • Rat-Bite Fever is a bacterial infection. The victim becomes infected through the bite or scratch of a rat or from feces-contaminated food. Symptoms include a rash, fever, headache, muscle pain, vomiting, and joint 1 pain. There are many more serious complications that can ensue so immediate treatment is recommended.
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome is a virus. Infection occurs from airborne dust that is contaminated by urine or droppings. Direct contact with these can also cause the virus. Typical reactions are fatigue, fever, and muscle aches as well as a host of abdominal problems. Late-stage signs include respiratory disorders and death rates are high if left untreated.
  • Salmonellosis is transmitted through drinking water or eating food that is tainted by bacteria from rat feces. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever. Those who have a compromised immune system may not be able to fight off the infection.
  • Tularemia occurs from contact with infected rodents, water, or dust in the air. Patients with tularemia often only have a small ulcer on the skin but symptoms can be as serious as pneumonia. Signs of infection include muscle aches, fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, fatigue, coughing, and respiratory distress.
  • Lymphocytic affects animals more than people because it is found in water sources outdoors. Dogs, in particular, are at risk for this disease as they often drink water from lakes or ponds. The disease can also be absorbed through the skin or mucous membranes so swimming, wading, or even just smelling rat urine can result in this illness. It can damage kidneys and liver, cause meningitis and respiratory problems and even death.
  • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome is caught by breathing in contaminated dust, or having direct contact with urine or droppings. More rarely, a rat bite or person to person passing could happen.

Pet Friendly Rat Control

Cats are known for their ability to kill mice and even rats. However, it can be scary as rodents carry diseases that may be transmitted to your household pets. Additionally, the substances used in many rat baits contain anticoagulants, which react the same in all mammals. Anticoagulants thin the blood and result in internal bleeding. Dogs may be attracted to rat baits as they are grain-based. If ingested by pets, certain rat baits or poisons are deadly.

Inform your exterminator if you prefer pet-friendly extermination such as a warfarin based substance or brodifacoum, difethialone, and bromadiolone chemicals. These pet-friendly rat control choices are generally the same cost as others at $200 to $500. Rodent relocation is another choice for a pet-friendly alternative. A critter trapper costs about $300.

Dead Rat Removal Cost

One of the most disgusting parts of rat removal is having to deal with dead rats. Many of the same diseases mentioned earlier are also associated with handling dead rats or cleaning up their mess. A professional rat exterminator will have the supplies and training to deal with the carcass that may be dangerous for a typical individual to remove. The cost to just have the dead rat removed is $150-$250.

Rat Exclusion Cost

Rat exclusion is proactive by preventing the rat entry and eliminating areas that may become attractive to rats. There is a fine line between sealing entry areas and blocking appropriate air flow. If a home is too air tight, other problems can occur such as moisture development.

Exclusion experts will check for gaps and holes that you may not be able to see. In addition, certain types of framing can leave areas that invite rats. Professionals will use a sealant called an elastomeric and not just a plain caulk 2. It is vital for all products that are used for sealing gaps is a breathable product. You should expect to pay $200-$600 for exclusion.

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Emergency Rat Removal

Many companies will provide emergency rat removal. An emergency may be a situation where you have a particularly aggressive rat or discover an extensive infestation that is affecting your home life. Emergency rat control can be performed by setting traps and bait with a return within a few days to further inspect the property. A common price for an emergency visit is $300-$500.

How to Prevent Rats

Homeowners should be aware that weatherizing or using spray in foam insulation will not deter rats. There are some door sweep products that are steel fabric with a rubber casing that can keep rats from entering at a cost of $50-$70. Keeping vegetation, grass and weeds cut back, cleaning out garages, kitchen, laundry room, and attic will also discourage rats from feeling comfortable on your property. Keeping food sealed and put away is imperative in the process. Make sure you feed your pets indoors or take up the food immediately after they are done eating. Also, seal any foundational gaps that have occurred over time. Keep your garbage in a can with a lid that is tight.

All About Rats

Although there are several rat species, most of them follow the same life cycle. A female rat litter is generally 7 to 14 babies. Most females produce up to five litters yearly. The little ones reach maturity at only three weeks and are sexually active at five weeks. Rats generally live between two and three years. A full-grown rat will reach 4 to 11 inches and weigh up to 20 ounces.

Rats are nocturnal and enjoy chewing just about anything. Their teeth grow around four inches annually, so they must chew on things repeatedly to keep the growth under control. The rodents are known for destroying almost any crop. They can demolish walls, wiring, flooring, furniture, clothes, and almost everything you own. The critters can jump up to four feet and climb walls, telephone poles, and trees. Rat borne diseases are one of the highest instances of deaths in humans throughout the world.

Rat Extermination Cost vs Rat Removal Cost

Rat extermination is often more effective as it uses bait to draw the rodents out and they then die. It is more expensive as it includes sealing of entry points, the traps and bait, removal of the dead rats and clean-up. For a small infestation you will pay about $200-$500. Live rat removal is the act of moving the live rats to a different area. However, do not be fooled because this method may still result in the rats dying as they will be released outdoors in rural areas where food and water sources are limited. This costs $150-$300.

Indoor vs Outdoor Rat Control Cost

Rats in the house can be one of the easier problems to solve as the rats are more visible. A professional exterminator will set traps with bait and seal any entry points to avoid reinfestation. Within a few days, he/she will return to remove the dead animals, clean-up and repair. Cost for this is $200-$350.

Outdoor rat problems are taken care of in much the same way as inside your house. The difference is that rats can come back much easier if you don’t make some changes. Leaving a lid on your garbage can, keeping grass and weeds under control, even under sheds, feeding house pets indoors, and not using bird feeders, are all ways to discourage rat reinfestation. Cost runs $200-$450.

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Cleaning Up After Rats

Cleaning up rat droppings and urine is a key part to removing smells and harmful bacteria. Hiring a biohazard cleaning service will cost you about $200-$550. This will include removing the feces and urine, performing deodorizing and disinfecting as well as a charge for a bio hazard fee.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permit. A permit is not required to treat for rat problems. However, make certain your rat exterminator is trained and experienced in dealing with an infestation. Each state has its own certifications for pest and rodent control. The EPA offers a Pesticide Operator Core Exam which serves as a certification as well. You can also check the BBB website to find out information on any company you are considering.
  • DIY. There are some DIY options for rat extermination. In these instances, the consumer is left with disposing of the dead rat. These traps may be dangerous with household pets or children. In addition, some are not humane as the animal suffers for many hours before dying. Included are the following: snap rat trap, rat glue trap, rat bait station, and electric rat trap .
  • Warranty. You probably won’t get a warranty on your rat removal. If one is offered, it is usually for a limited time and you must report any suspicions of rat activity quickly.
  • Repairs. Home repairs such as drywall 3 replacement, flooring and ceiling replacement, removal of trash, debris, and unnecessary clutter to deter more rats, are all additional costs that you may incur. Costs for drywall repair can be $50-$100 for a small hole or as much as $300-$500 for larger areas. Flooring and ceiling replacement depends on the product and extent of the damage.


  • How much does rat extermination cost?

Rat extermination on average is $150-$400 for a small infestation.

  • How does an exterminator get rid of rats?

Exterminators use several methods to get rid of rats including traps, bait, electric shock traps, and rodenticides. The dead rats are then removed and all gaps/holes sealed to prevent further entry.

  • How do you get rid of a rat infestation?

A professional can set traps with bait and then remove the rats for you. You can also hire a company to trap the rats alive and release them in the wild.

  • Is pest control effective for rats?

Chemical pest control is an effective treatment for rats but it isn’t the safest method for humans. Rat exterminators usually choose to use traps and bait rather than rodenticide for safety reasons.

  • When should you call an exterminator for rats?

If you see rat droppings or spot an actual rat, it is time to take action. These pesky rodents multiply quickly and the quicker you respond the easier it will be. Most likely if you see one rat, there are more.

  • How much does it cost to get rid of rats?

The average cost to get rid of rats is $150-$400 for a small infestation.

  • How long does it take to get rid of rats?

It can take as long as 15 hours to clear a rat infestation.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Joint: A fold, line, or groove where two pieces of material join together
glossary term picture Caulking 2 Caulk: A chemical sealant used to fill in and seal gaps where two materials join, for example, the tub and tile, to create a watertight and airtight seal. The term "caulking" is also used to refer to the process of applying this type of sealant
glossary term picture Sheetrock 3 Drywall: Type of plasterboard, commonly used to build walls and ceilings, composed of gypsum that is layered between sheets of heavy paper

Cost to exterminate rats varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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Cost to exterminate rats varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources