Who And When To Call For Rat Problems And How Much Will It Cost

You hear the loud clanging of the casserole at night. You see tiny droppings in the corner of your pantry. There’s a mysterious hole in the food storage. You hear gnawing sounds in the middle of the night. All these signs are pointing to daunting rats problems.

So, how do you know when to call rats exterminators?

When To Call Rats Exterminators

Before anything else, let’s define first what rats exterminators are and their main job. Rats exterminators, as the word implies, exterminators mean they exterminate rats, rodents, and other pests.

A team from a pest control company will come over to your house in search of the signs of rats and other rodents, spread their chemical poison, set up traps and baits, and then will come back in time to gather the dead rats.

The right time to call for rats exterminators takes time and needs careful consideration. It must be not too late nor too early, to save further damages and money.

So, here are the three telltale signs when to call an exterminator to get rid of rats out of your house.

Strong odor in the house

When you share a home with rats, it won’t last long until you realize their presence because of the strong, pungent odor. You may smell an ammonia odor that is left behind their urine.

You may also notice the musky odor they leave behind when they rub their body on the floor or on the gaps to leave a scent trail behind.

Besides, rats leave droppings everywhere they go; therefore, these combinations of waste and body odor can create a distinctive smell that makes you cringe and alerts you that rodents are bugging your house.

Rats droppings

Another sign to check out is the rats droppings.

Droppings are usually found almost everywhere rats can go, but they are most significantly found in the pantries.

Your kitchen is like a food paradise for rats, and it is their favorite place to visit. You will know that they are rats present in your house if you see droppings on your counter, kitchen floor, and cabinets.

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These rats may not actually live in the kitchen since it is one of the busy areas during the day; however, at night, no one is in the kitchen, they will come out and eat crumbs and leftovers sitting on the countertops.

They may even chew your food boxes and bread bags or munch on the dirty dishes left on your sink.

When you see severe droppings or signs of gnaw marks on your food and even on electrical wirings, it is time to take action and get rid of these pests.

Presence of nests

Rats are tiny, creative species. They shred paper and fabric and can make it into comfy nests for sleeping and raising their little ones.

If you find a nest, it is either the rats still have it, or they have already abandoned it and look for another area of the house that is quieter.

You may stumble onto rat nests anywhere in your home that is usually hidden in quiet places such as in your closet, linen drawer, shoe boxes, or even behind the refrigerator.

If you find numerous nests around your house, it is best to hire a professional rats exterminator to help you address active rats infestation signs.

Finding a nest indicates the presence of colonies of rats that will continue to reproduce until they are exterminated.

Why Hire Professional Rats Exterminators

Rats exterminators are professionals that are specifically trained to deal with the problems and threats that are brought about by these rodents.

A professional rats exterminator will work hand in hand with you to make an effective plan to help you control the infestation. This plan will surely take into account your home’s needs.

Here are the reasons why hiring professional rats exterminators is the key to remove rats infestation successfully.

Sufficient knowledge and training

Professional rats exterminators have trained personnel that is equipped to understand rats infestations and behavior.

Exterminators know the best places to put rat traps or whether to use bait or not.

They will suggest the best kind of trap that would work best; besides, they also know where to place traps in the most significant locations to get rid of rats.

Rats control professionals have the equipment

Rats control exterminators have enough experience to eliminate rats populations safely and effectively from your home.

It is because they are fully equipped to get the job done and solve your problem in the most efficient way possible.

Therefore, you do not need to buy respirators, ladders, exclusion tools, disposable coveralls, traps, bait stations, and other equipment to get rid of rats.

They find all entry points for rats

Rats exclusion is the process of keeping rats out of your home. It is a detailed and thorough process of going through every tiny corner, each vent, the confluence of your house’s foundation, and even crawl spaces to find all the possible entry points.

Each entry point must be plugged, sealed, and fortified against future rat activity.

There are many useful materials to fill gaps or holes, like metal flashing, wire mesh screen, steel wool, or copper cloth.

Professional rats exterminators know where to spot these holes and cracks and know what to use to address the problem.

They are experts in cleaning rats-infested areas

It is necessarily important to protect yourself against biological hazards that rats are presenting.

Rat control exterminators are equipped with the proper equipment to get the job done safely, without risking your health and the health of your family.

They are also knowledgeable in the use of protective equipment, like gloves, masks, respirators, and other protective gear to handle the job correctly.

Pest management services also spot other problems

Aside from rats, professional pest control services can also warn you about other possible infestations, such as spiders, ants, cockroaches, bugs, and other insects.

Then they will assist you in starting a long-term solution to other pest problems that you are unaware can also be threatening to your home and family.

They will safely access all parts of your house

With the help of a professional rats exterminator, you don’t need to worry about squeezing yourself into tiny, dust-filled, and dirty spaces.

It is because professional rats control services have trained personnel that will go through those hidden spots of your home that you want to avoid.

Well, some of these places where rats are thriving are dangerous for humans to access and require special equipment.

Save yourself since rats exterminator services have the right gear to get the job done successfully.

How Much Does A Rats Exterminator Cost

Usually, the total cost for rats exterminators may run between $400 to $1,000, depending on the size of the affected property—also, the severity of the infested area. Also, the cost varies by state and cities.

This estimated figure is broken down into three significant steps or stages of exterminating rats, as discussed below:

Inspection Cost

The initial step for every rats exterminator will take to conduct a thorough inspection of the infected area or property, look for the common nesting sites, catch rats, and check for all the possible entry points.

From this initial visit, it will cost you around $50 to $300. Besides, this figure is directly proportional to the size of the property. That’s why there is such a wide gap in the estimated cost.

Inspections are initiated so that you can come up with an analysis of the problem at hand. You will know how severe the infestation is and if other pests are harboring your house.

Treatment Cost

After conducting a thorough investigation and evaluation of the infected area or site, the exterminator will be able to provide you with a quote on the recommended treatment solutions needed to get rid of the rats.

Usually, the treatment cost will range between $200 to $600, depending again on the size of the treated property.

Besides, this full treatment will include setting up traps and baits to catch rats, sealing all the possible entry points, and even repairs.

Extended Treatment Cost

Just in case the infestation is severe, rats exterminators may recommend an extended version of their treatment.

It may come with a contract that is defined as either a monthly or quarterly visit of the contracted exterminator.

Extended treatment is often initiated to make sure that rats are entirely eradicated. Also, it serves as a prevention for possible recurrence of rats infestation.

The extended treatment cost adds up to $300 to $600 to your total bill.

Important Things To Discuss With Your Rats Exterminator

Upon seeking professional help, it is imperative to know the critical details that need to be discussed.

In this way, the process of eradicating rats is streamlined, thus helping to curb the total time and the cost in dealing with the infested property.

Location of the infestation

Generally, rats establish their nests near food and water sources, yet they can still crawl into different areas of your house through gaps or holes, which can be made into a network of tunnels.

They can create it inside your walls, in the attic, along with your venting systems, and in the basement.

How long has it been?

Take note of the date where you see the first signs of rats infestation.

It will help the exterminator to determine the level of severity of your infested home and help them come up with a set of solutions more accurately.

Be honest, and do not be shy when telling the exterminator that the problem has been existing for months already, and you have tried it to deal with the infestation using DIY methods of baiting.

Squeaking and scratching sounds

A ubiquitous sign that rats are present in your home is the sound they make in your walls in your attic, especially at night.

You will know right away that you are living with rats under the same roof if you hear the trademark squeaking sound inside the walls that will give you chills and icky feelings.

Know the exact spots where these sounds are coming from, and disclose it to the exterminator. It will help the pest control professional to determine the best sites when setting up the baits and traps.

Holes in food storage

There are two main reasons why rats get into your house. First off, it’s because of food and shelter.

These rodents are tiny creatures with a huge appetite. They can easily smell food and will make a way to access your food.

That’s why sometimes you see holes in your bread bag or some on your thin plastic containers with food items. Rats can gnaw easily on things to make their way easily on your things.

What do you smell?

Another significant sign of rats’ infestation is the presence of foul, strong-pungent odor because of the rat’s filthy body and droppings. Remember that this ammonia-like smell is strongest near or around their nesting place.

How To Choose The Best Rats Exterminator

Rats infestation is a common household problem, and you don’t need to be stressed out if your DIY catching method of rats does not work.

There are many rats exterminators out there that will surely help you deal with your problem. Frankly, each one of them will tell you that they are the best solution to your rats problems.

Hence, here are some of the pointers that you need to call so you know how to screen the best rats exterminator.


When you are dealing with annoying rats problems, especially if it has already been severe, hire the best rats exterminator that can deliver the best result as possible.

As much as possible, avoid dealing with an exterminator with a questionable background. Instead, look for a reputable exterminator that is licensed, insured, and bonded crew in the field.

Having these experts, you can put your mind at ease that your rats infestation problem is handled skillfully and professionally.


As they say, “Experiences are the Best Teachers”. And in the battle of getting rid of rats, having an experienced exterminator is the key to get the best results you want.

You may conduct short research about the company or ask the length of their professional experience in the industry. Make sure to know the reviews and the number of clients they have satisfactorily serviced.


Ask for a personal recommendation from your friends, relatives, or neighbors who had recently hired a rats exterminator specialist.

Having these references in mind will help you narrow down your top choices through people you can trust.

Your close friends or loved ones will not direct you in the wrong way, and they will not give you false information.


Another critical thing to ask for when looking for the best exterminator is whether they offer a guarantee of their services or not.

In terms of rats control, it means that if rats are not successfully terminated after the first treatment, the rats exterminator will guarantee another treatment to get rid of rats completely.

You know that a pest control services company is trusted once they guarantee the best results since they are confident with the service they offer.

Chemicals used

It is common for professional exterminators to use rodenticide in handling rats infestation problems.

You may inquire of the company about the specific type of chemicals they plan to use when exterminating rats in your property and know their levels of toxicity.

Take note of its product name and registration number if they are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

If you have pets or children at home, it is best to look for rats exterminator companies that can offer non-chemical alternatives.

Consult with your prospective choices of rats exterminator companies about these concerns and look for an agreement that is suitable for both parties.

Number of treatments

The total cost of rats extermination depends on the number of treatments to be done in your home.

After conducting the initial visit, you can ask the exterminator about the types of treatment and the number of times they will initiate the treatment before solving the rats infestation issues.

An excellent exterminator can answer this question correctly as well as the duration needed for the entire extermination process.

What To Do After The Rats Extermination

In case you find yourself loss of what to do after the exterminators leave your house, here are some tips you should do:

  • Open the doors and windows as soon as you are given the signal from the exterminators. It helps to get rid of any possible chemical smells.
  • Inspect the identified entry points to ensure that not a single gap or tiny hole has been missed to seal.
  • Do an extensive cleaning to purify the house and organize some stuff. Make sure not to disturb the areas where baits and traps have been set up.
  • Declutter and organize your stuff to check if there are rats that survived during the extermination.

When it is time to call an exterminator, should you consider going with local exterminators or go with national brands? My best advice to you is not to react on impulse when deciding where to seek help. 

To help you decide, listed below are the pros and cons of going to local exterminators and seeking professional help from national brands like Terminix, Orkin, and many more.

Pros and Cons: Local Rats Exterminators

Seeking help from smaller pest control companies will benefit you since you will get more personal touch on your treatment plans. Usually, you can negotiate with the cost because most of these local exterminators are family-owned businesses.



Smaller rats exterminator companies are usually family-owned. They often serve areas that are limited to a specific geographic region. Local rats exterminator companies typically have a limited number of employees; therefore, they can cater to a small number of clients at a time.

Requires good reputation

Rats exterminators from local or small companies cannot survive without a good reputation or reviews from their previous clients.

It is because they do not have sufficient resources and marketing funds to advertise their business. Therefore, it means that its service quality needs to be right; otherwise, their company will go out of business.

Long-standing relationships with their clients

Another great thing about local companies is that they usually have already built a long-standing relationship with their clients.

Since small companies have limited employees, the chances of seeing the same exterminator consistently are possible.

Display more personal touch

Local companies tend to show more of a personal touch with their clients than with large companies. They tend to listen more closely to their problems and rats’s concerns.


Lack of technical training

Smaller companies may lack the technical training when it comes to a more extensive operation.

It is because their training resources are limited or just valid to one-year certification classes and what they have learned in the field through trial and error process.

Can be expensive

Just because they are local, it does not mean that they are cheaper.

Local exterminator companies can also be expensive since they have to carry on the business to higher profit margins due to a lack of customer volume.

However, the good thing with local companies, the cost can be negotiable.

Flexibility in pricing

Since most of them are family-owned businesses, they are more flexible with pricing as they lack strict protocol and guidelines, unlike big companies.

Due to their need for profit, flexible pricing is still an issue.

Delayed Response Time

Due to smaller numbers of resources, smaller companies have a slow response time in response to accidental poisonings, chemical spills, and other accidents.

Besides, they have limited resources and training to cover such unexpected events.

Pros And Cons: National Brands/Larger Companies

When looking for rats exterminators, the most prominent companies you’ll probably hear of are Terminix and Orkin. Well, these companies are enormous global enterprises.

They even spend millions on their marketing and branding, especially during peak seasons (winter and fall), and they have operations in many areas. But is it more significant or better?


Training and resources

In most cases, big companies have an edge like complete equipment, training, and history (even good or bad).

It just depends on who runs the branch in your area, but since the rats, exterminators come from large companies, rest assured that they have undergone complete training and use the best equipment during the process.

Consistent Treatment Protocol

Since they are big corporations, they need to follow the guidelines or the protocol established in the company.

For instance, if they have specific services offered in Texas, you will also get the same benefits in Boston, so what I am trying to say is that they are under one company. So, what they offer in the other branch is also available to another.

Customer Service

Large companies are equipped with a Customer Service Department where you can file a complaint, specifically if things are not done correctly at your house.

Terminix and Orkin are equipped with departments that are dedicated to customer service, where you can’t complain about smaller and local companies.


Inconsistent quality

One of the most significant disadvantages of extensive rats exterminator companies is their inconsistent service quality.

Some branches have excellent ratings, while other areas have low ratings. That’s why when you research Orkin in your local area, you find horrible reviews, but in different branches, they have excellent reviews.

Well, this not only applies to Orkin or Terminix, but this is an issue for any large company. The larger the company gets, the harder the quality control it becomes.

At the end of the day, the overall quality of the branch depends on the responsibility of the branch manager.

Expensive with strict guidelines

Since they pay millions on advertising and marketing, someone must pay; therefore, the pricing is significantly costly for big branded names.

The inspectors are held to company approved rate cards to follow the strict guidelines for each treatment.

More turnover

Big companies have significant turnovers to their employees, whereas some homeowners find this disturbing.

Homeowners are more comfortable with their belongings handled by the same person each time. It is because not many homeowners want new faces coming around their house spraying bugs killing poison gas.

Lack of personal touch

With such significant operations, each client does not receive that personal touch since there are many customers that the company needs to cater to by schedule.

Meanwhile, here are the best three pest control companies in 2021.

Top 3 Best Pest Control Companies


  • Offers instant online chat
  • Provide great service guarantee
  • Serves almost 3 million customers
  • Covered 49 states
  • Annual cost averaging around $550 to $700

Terminix has been in the industry for over 90 years and serves almost 3 million both residential and commercial customers worldwide.

It comes with online customer service support with an efficient real-time chat function. It is one of the most affordable pest control companies.

Terminix offers general pest control services for common household pests, such as wasps and moths. They also provide exceptional protection programs against bed bugs, termites, mosquitoes, and ticks.


  • Offers same-day service if you call before 2 pm
  • Comes with technologically advanced solutions
  • Has run more than 100 years in the industry
  • Covers 47 states
  • The annual cost is around $575

Orkin is one of the leading names in the field pest control industry. The company has been established for over a decade. Besides, it has already served more than 1.7 million residential and commercial customers across the country. 

Orkin offers protection against up to 20 common household pests, including rats, ants, roaches, spiders, and other household critters under the general pest control plan.

In addition, the company also offers targeted pest control against termites and bed bugs with the use of proprietary technology and products.


  • Uses environmental-friendly products
  • Gives back to the community
  • New in the industry yet one of the fastest-growing pest control company
  • Covers 23 states
  • The annual cost is between $560 to $620

While it is new in the pest control industry, Aptive has been ranked as one of the fastest-growing pest control companies.

Aptive is an active member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program.

The company is committed to engaging with the communities to spread environmental awareness and reduce the use of pesticides.

From this act, Aptive has made an immediate impact in the pest control industry, ranking high on the Top 100 Pest Control Technology.

Other Great Pest Control Companies


The company is also known as Ehrlich, Steritech, or Rentokil Steritech.

This company offers unique services called Pestfree365, wherein you can play both defense and offense against pests that might invade your home at any time of the year.

Although they require an appointment, you may also request for a technician, and they will come to you within the day.

They will not stop coming to your house or office, not until the rats problem is solved. They are focused mainly on the pests that cause the infestation.

J.C. Ehrlich Pest Control

J.C. Ehrlich is a division of Rentokil, with more than 750 trained pest control specialists across the country.

Their services are focused on risk assessment, responsiveness, and reassurance. In partnership with Rentokil, they offer a comprehensive, year-round Pestfree365 program.

It is also equipped with an online chat function that allows homeowners to communicate with representatives in real-time.

One significant downside of this pest control company is its confusing connection to Rentokil. Overall, J.C. Ehrlich is a great pest control company that offers a targeted approach.


Calling in rats exterminator specialists might be the best possible solution when faced with a house overrun by rats.

Make sure you know what to look for in an exterminator so that you get the right professional in getting the job done right. You must also be aware of the warning signs of rats and their infected area so that you can readily disclose to the trained rats exterminator.

By reading through my guide and giving you the best pest control companies, you’ve become an informed homeowner and knowledgeable about how to combat these pests.

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