How much does a rat exterminator cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a rat exterminator cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a rat exterminator cost?

$150 – $600average cost to exterminate rats

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$150 – $600 average cost to exterminate rats

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Sarah Noel
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Sarah Noel
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Jennifer Carlson
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Tom Grupa

Rat exterminator cost

A rat exterminator costs $150 to $600 on average, depending on the method, location, and infestation size. The cost to get rid of rats is $150 to $600 for using lethal traps, including monitoring. Rat extermination prices are $200 to $400 for installing and checking bait stations.

Average rat removal cost - Chart
Average rat removal cost - Chart
Average rat removal cost
National average cost $375
Minimum cost $90
Maximum cost $6,500
Average range $150 to $600

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.

A rat on a shelf in the kitchen pantry in a home.
A rat on a shelf in the kitchen pantry in a home.
Get free estimates from rat exterminators near you.

Cost to get rid of rats by method

Getting rid of rats with lethal traps is typically the cheapest method as well as the standard practice for sanitary purposes. The cost of rat extermination depends on the method:

Cost to get rid of rats by method
Method Average cost
Regular traps $150 – $600
Poison $200 – $400
Fumigation $2,000 – $6,500
Live trap & release $50 – $80 per rat

Regular lethal traps

Setting regular lethal rat traps costs $150 to $600 minimum for a professional to place them and return in 2 to 3 days to remove the dead rats. Fees increase for more than ten traps. Snap and jaw traps are the most common and kill rats quickly.

For DIY trapping, these are the different lethal trap types:

  • Standard snap traps cost $1.50 to $3.00 each and are the cheapest type. However, they are difficult to set without harming fingers and toes, and children or pets can trip on them.

  • Jaw traps cost $4.50 to $9.00 each and are reusable and have a more sophisticated design than snap traps. However, they suffocate rats slowly and require careful handling.

  • Glue traps cost $3.00 to $15.00 and make it easy to find dead rats, but they are single-use only and are the least humane.

  • Electronic traps cost $30 to $75 each for a quick and humane kill that most kids and pets won't be able to tamper with.

A mouse and rat trap baited with a piece of cheese.
A mouse and rat trap baited with a piece of cheese.


Rat extermination using poisoned bait stations costs $200 to $400 if placed by a professional or $15 to $30 per bait station if you buy them yourself. However, many exterminators don't use poison due to the risk of pets accidentally ingesting it.

Another setback is that poisoned rats typically die in hard-to-find locations, which can spread diseases in your home.

An exterminator adding poison pellets to a trap for mice and rats.
An exterminator adding poison pellets to a trap for mice and rats.


Rat fumigation costs $1.50 to $4.00 per square foot or $2,000 to $6,500 for a 2,000-square-foot house. Fumigating is a last-resort treatment for severe infestations that involves sealing the home with a tent and introducing poison gas. Residents must leave for 24 to 72 hours to ensure their safety.

  • Fumigation isn't ideal unless all other methods have failed.

  • Temporary evacuation lasts 3 to 5 days for larger homes.

  • This method is highly effective for infestations that overrun a whole building.

  • Removes multiple rat colonies at once.

Live trap & release

Live rat traps cost $50 to $80 per rat for humane trapping and relocation. This fee is in addition to the standard inspection fee and covers transportation costs. Rat trap prices are $10 to $30 each for DIY trapping.

While live trapping is the most humane method that causes no harm to rats, this method isn't advisable or legal in all states. In places where the rat population is low, however, authorities strongly encourage relocation.

A trap to catch and remove mice and rats without harming the animals.
A trap to catch and remove mice and rats without harming the animals.

Rat exterminator prices by infestation size

Rat exterminator prices vary according to the size of the rat colony. A small rat infestation may only take 2 to 3 visits to set a few traps and seal one main entry hole.

Mid-sized and large rat colonies cost more because they involve repairing damage as well as several months of monitoring.

Rat exterminator prices by infestation size
Infestation size Average total cost Details
Small $200 – $500
  • Sealing one entrance
  • Minimal cleaning
Medium $500 – $1,500
  • 3 – 4 service visits
  • Sealing multiple entry points
Large $1,500 – $8,000
  • Trapping
  • Sealing the building
  • Fumigation
  • Cleanup & repairs

Rat removal cost factors

Rat removal costs fluctuate according to these primary factors:

  • Inspection – Exterminators charge $90 to $150 for a call-out and inspection fee to determine the scope of the infestation. Some companies charge an annual fee for an ongoing pest maintenance plan to prevent infestations.

  • Infestation location – The cost varies by the accessibility or complexity of reaching the infested areas. For example, removing rats in an attic costs more than removing them from a shed.

  • Home size & age – Older and larger houses often have more entry points for rats, which means more comprehensive sealing efforts.

  • Building material – Wooden buildings typically require more sealing work compared to concrete buildings since rats can gnaw through wood.

  • Geographic location – The local market and the prevalence of rats in the area causes prices to vary. Lower prices are available in areas with more pest control companies.

  • Exterior texture – If the property's brick or wood exterior allows easy climbing for rats, then additional efforts are required to treat upper levels of the house.

  • Emergency calls – Urgent responses to infestations cost an extra $100 to $200 for weekend, holiday, and after-hours service.

  • Dead rat removal – The process of removing dead rats from within walls costs more due to drywall repair and odor control.

  • Service frequency – Prices differ based on whether the service is a one-time visit or entails regular maintenance.

  • Exclusion measures – Post-removal steps to prevent re-infestation, like installing exclusion doors and sealants, will increase the overall cost.

  • Sanitizing – Rats carry numerous diseases, and the need for specific disinfection measures with safety gear will raise the cost.

Damage repair

Rats create many different kinds of home damage that are expensive to repair:

Get free estimates from rat exterminators near you.

Rat extermination FAQs

Are rat exterminators worth it?

Rat exterminators are worth it for effective and safe eradication methods. Plus, a professional gives advice on preventing another infestation by showing you where the rats entered the home and sealing these places. Rat extermination is essential to stop disease from spreading.

When do I call an exterminator for rats?

You should call a rat exterminator when you notice:

  • Gnawed holes in walls or fences

  • Chewed objects

  • Pawprints outside

  • Scratching sounds in the walls, attic, basement, or crawlspace

  • Unusual and distinct odors

  • Droppings or holes up to 2" wide in baseboards or door frames

  • Smudge marks on walls from body oils

How do exterminators get rid of rats?

Rodent exterminators get rid of rats through traps, poison, repellents, sealing off entry points, and ongoing inspections. While trapping effectively handles individual rats, poisoning requires time. The efficiency of these methods differs based on the situation.

How long does it take to get rid of rats?

Getting rid of rats takes a few days with traps or up to a week with rat poison, depending on the infestation size. Rats resist change and prefer consistent food and water sources, making baiting and exclusion challenging. Larger rat infestations take more than a month to eradicate.

How do I prepare for rat extermination?

Prepare for rat extermination by de-cluttering your home, sealing off entry points, and eliminating food and water sources that might lure pests. Other key preparation steps include:

  • Storing food in sealed containers

  • Keeping all your pets away during the process

  • Patching wall holes

  • Clearing under-sink and fridge-top areas

  • Avoiding pesticide use before professional treatment

Can you get rid of rats permanently?

You can get rid of rats permanently by:

  • Sealing up all holes and cracks 1" wide or larger

  • Eliminating potential food and water sources

  • Installing one-way exclusion doors over vents

  • Reducing potential habitats around the home exterior where they can hide

Getting estimates from rat exterminators

Before calling a rat exterminator near you, be sure to:

  • Obtain price lists from 3 professionals with at least 5 years of experience.

  • Review their ratings and comments on platforms like Google and HomeGuide.

  • Confirm their pest control or wildlife certification, as well as liability insurance.

  • Avoid unusually low pricing as it may indicate subpar services.

  • Secure a copy of their service agreements, warranties, and cost estimates.

  • Withhold the final payment until the job is complete.

Questions to ask

Ask potential rat exterminators the following questions before hiring:

  • What is your level of experience in rat removal?

  • Can you elaborate on your rat removal process?

  • How do you ensure they do not return?

  • Do you use poisons, traps, or other methods for rat removal?

  • What do local regulations say about releasing trapped rats?

  • Do you provide any guarantees or warranties for your service?

  • Are you able to share your pricing options for removing rats?

  • What is the typical timeline for eliminating a rat infestation?

  • When are you available to start, and how frequently will you check the traps?

  • Can you provide references from previous clients?

  • What potential risks come with the rat removal process?

  • Do you offer post-removal cleanup services?

  • What solutions do you offer to seal off entry points?

  • How will you safeguard my property during the removal process?

  • Are there any extra services included in the fee?

  • Do you offer a free initial inspection?

  • Will my family and pets need to evacuate during the treatment? If not, what precautions should we take?

  • Do you also handle other pests like mice or insects? If so, what are the charges?