Have you got a rat problem and don’t want to deal with it yourself? If so then you are going to need to hire a rat exterminator.
Sometimes it is better to call a professional than tackle a project like this yourself. Exterminators often will have access to different types of rat poison, fumigants and cleaning supplies that are unavailable to retail consumers.
You should do a little research before hiring someone though and this is a step people often skip because they are already upset about having a rat problem.
This article covers how to select a rat exterminator, how much they cost and what type of service you should expect.
How to Select a Rat Exterminator
Pest control companies LOVE to put homeowners onto monthly or quarterly service contracts. For a service like termite prevention a service contract makes a lot of sense. For something like rat removal a service contract is a complete rip off.
A competent exterminator will be able to solve your rat problem PERMANTLY over the course of two weeks. There is no need for an exterminator to come back if they have done their job properly.
It is also important to realize that most pest control companies make most of their money dealing with insects such as termites and ants.
Rats and insects have nothing in common.
Killing smart rodents and keeping new ones from moving in requires a completely different skill set than spraying chemicals for ants.
Ideally you want to work with a Certified Wildlife Removal Specialist to get rid of your rats. A Certified Wildlife Removal Expert will understand the need to perform repairs and eliminate attractants in addition to killing the rats.
Not all pest control companies employee Certified Wildlife Removal Specialists and there may not be one in your area. In this case you will to ask some questions to see if they know what they are doing.
Here are a few questions you should ask a pest control company before they come to your house.
- Will I be working with a certified wildlife removal specialist? Ideally you will be but such a person might not be available in your area.
- How much do you charge for an inspection and assessment? The inspection should cost $100 or less.
- How many visits does it typically take to complete the job? It should take a minimum of four visits. This is not a single visit service.
- Do you require an ongoing service contract? If they do then hang up the phone.
- Do you perform exclusion repairs? You should expect them to make minor repairs.
- Do you provide clean up services? If you have rats in your attic there will be insulation that is contaminated with rat poop and urine. It is not common for pest control companies to clean this mess up but it is nice if they will.
How Much Does a Rat Exterminator Cost?
I can’t tell you exactly how much an exterminator will cost in your area but….it is reasonable to pay about $500 for the services.
Here is an overview of what a professional exterminator will do to earn that much money.
There will be an initial on site inspection that will require the exterminator to crawl around your attic or under your house. They will need to estimate the size of the problem and identify how the rats are getting into your home. This process may require them to access your roof. The entire inspection can take about an hour to perform.
Next, the rat exterminator will set out about a dozen traps. A good exterminator will use brand new traps and dispose of them when they are done at your house. Rats carry many diseases and it is a bad idea to reuse rat traps from one location to another.
Determining where to place the traps and then setting them will take about another hour.
The exterminator will leave and come back in two or three days to check the traps. They will remove the dead rats and set more traps.
This process will be repeated two or three more times until no more rats are caught in the traps.
In addition to setting traps the exterminator should be identifying how the rats are getting into your home and performing minor repairs to fix any holes or gaps in the structure.
A exterminator will typically spend 10-15 hours (including travel) performing the initial assessment, killing the rats and performing repairs.