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How Much Does a Rat Exterminator Cost?

$100 - $200
Average Cost
$200 - $500
$500 - $1,200
(small infestation and sealing entry points)

Get free estimates from animal/pest control specialists near you
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How Much Does a Rat Exterminator Cost?

$100 - $200
Average Cost
$200 - $500
$500 - $1,200
(small infestation and sealing entry points)

Get free estimates from animal/pest control specialists near you
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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 average cost for professional rat extermination ranges between $200-$500, with the average homeowner spending around $350 for bait and trap of small infestation, sealing entry points, and easy to reach areas.

Rat Extermination Cost

Cost to Exterminate Rats
National Average Cost$350
Average Range$200-$500
Minimum Cost$100
Maximum Cost​$1,200


Rat Extermination Cost by Project Range

$100 - $200
Live removal of 1-2 rats
Average Cost
$200 - $500
Small infestation and sealing entry points
$500 - $1,200
Bait and trap of large infestation, sealing entry points, and in wall infestation

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:

Rat Extermination Cost

Rat Extermination Cost


How to Get Rid of Rats in House

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.

How to Get Rid of Rats Outside

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.

Rats in Attic Removal Cost

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. Expect to pay around $300-$500.

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Walls

Rats in the walls are a more extensive job as the drywall 1 will need to be opened up and then replaced. The exterminator will use traps and bait. The cost of removing rats in the walls is $450-$600. 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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Electric Rat Trap

Electric rat traps deliver a high-voltage shock for immediate death. This is considered more humane as there is no delay.


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.

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.

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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.

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 2 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.

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. 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 3. 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.

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.

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.

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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 1 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 $200-$500 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 $200-$500 for a small infestation.

  • How long does it take to clear a rat infestation?

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.
glossary term picture Sheetrock 1 Drywall: Type of plasterboard, commonly used to build walls and ceilings, composed of gypsum that is layered between sheets of heavy paper
2 Joint: A fold, line, or groove where two pieces of material join together
glossary term picture Caulking 3 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

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
Rat walking on a kitchen sink
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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