On average nationwide, professional rodent removal costs between $95 and $235, with the average cost to homeowners being $165. The exact price you'll pay for this type of pest control depends on the size of your house and the type and number of rodents you have. The worse your rat, mouse, or other rodent problem, the longer it'll take for a pest control company or exterminator to take care of removal, clean up and repairs.
Since nobody wants these pesky critters coming back, professionals will also clean up affected areas and make home repairs that can prevent pests from returning. Typically, these prices do not include the cost of repairing damage done to the house by rodents, beyond cleaning up urine, feces and other small messes. If the damage is particularly bad, consider hiring a home improvement specialist to help once you've finished with the removal.
To help you understand how much it will cost to hire an exterminator or wildlife control specialist to get rid of rodents in your home, this guide will break down extermination costs and what to expect in the pest removal process.
What's in this cost guide?
Ultimately, your pest control costs reflect how much time and effort it will take to get rid of any unwanted animals in your home. To account for this, some pest control companies charge by the hour for rodent removals. Others have set-rate packages based on what animal has taken roost and how severe the infestation and damage is.
If you're not sure if you have an infestation, it's also common for pest control companies to offer free inspections to look for signs of rats, mice, squirrels, bats, raccoons, possums or other rodents living in your home to confirm you need help with removal.
Pest control prices are impacted by several factors. Below is a breakdown of factors and services that impact the total wildlife control specialist or exterminator cost:
Some rodent removal services, such as PROGUARD Pest Control, provide free inspections. They use this time to assess the extent of a pest problem and create a custom estimate based on what they have to do to exterminate or remove rodents from your home.
Not all pest control specialists offer free inspections, though. For example, Active Animal Trapping owner Kevin Becker charges $100–$120 for the inspection, during which he thoroughly inspects the building's exterior to find where animals are getting in, confirms what type of animal is causing problems and what damage they may have caused. After identifying next steps, he often can start fixing the problems the same day by laying traps and sealing exit and entry points.
Different animals come with different problems, and the price to remove them will vary based on which type is causing you problems. The cost, and process, to take care of a mouse problem in your kitchen will be different than removing a family of raccoons who have claimed your crawlspace as one of their nests.
For example, Drop Shot Pest Control charges $110-$350 for rat extermination, depending on how heavy the rat population is, whether there are any health risks and how many rodent bait stations (a type of trap) they need to set out. However, they charge $200 to get rid of moles on a quarter- to half-acre lot.
Gophers are another pest you might deal with. Gophers cause problems by digging tunnels and burrows underground—often under lawns and other landscaping where regular irrigation creates conditions conducive to their survival. This unique trait makes it harder for pest control companies to remove gophers and other burrowing animals than blocking squirrels from chilling in your chimney.
Active Animal Trapping charges $120 for an initial gopher inspection and trap setup and $60 for subsequent gopher service calls to remove dead animals or move traps to catch more.
After inspection, your specialist's next step will be removal and pest control treatment. For this, your pest control specialist will set traps in the part of your home the animals have made into their home. Different animals require different traps and treatments, which can impact cost. The initial trap set-ups should be included in your total cost.
A small pest infestation in the average-sized house will require 12 to 15 traps to eradicate. There are three types of traps a pro may use:
- Snap traps are good old-fashioned mouse or rat traps. It's a classic mouse and rat removal option, and a good one to consider if you don't want to use rat poison or any form of rodenticide. If you have kids and pets, a professional can put the snap traps in an enclosed plastic box to prevent them from accidentally setting them off.
- Rodent bait stations (RBS), tamper-resistant boxes that lure rats, mice and other small rodents inside with poisoned bait or rodenticide. The rodent dies in the box, and the poison can't be accessed by children, pets, or wildlife. Rodent bait stations are used for rats and mice, but not larger animals.
- Live-catch traps, also known as live traps, don't kill the animals. Instead, they have a one-way entrance that the animal enters through, but can't get out of. These are the only way to catch squirrels, raccoons, possums or other wildlife that can be relocated into the wild.
After trapping the rodents, exterminators and wildlife control experts can return to remove the animals if you request it. Follow-up service visits to remove trapped animals may or may not be included in the total extermination cost.
Active Animal Trapping's Becker charges $50 extra (which is about the same as their hourly rate) to return to a site and remove dead animals and used traps. They also can set live traps for raccoons or possums and remove the trapped live animals.
Rats and other rodents are common because they can enter your house through a hole the size of a quarter. They can get into your house through the attic, vents, basement, crawl space vents, pipe entry holes, roof joints, air conditioning return chase and gaps in eaves. Rats can even swim through sewer pipes and enter your home through the toilet -- gross, right?
Because they're in small nooks and crannies of your home, rodents can damage it by gnawing through electrical wires, insulation, vents, soffits, fascia boards and walls. Rodent-gnawed electrical wires can be a fire hazard, and rats can carry diseases -- like leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, Tularemia and Salmonella -- so homeowners won't want to stop at extermination. You'll want to make sure any unwanted animals don't come back, and that you have a rodent and rat-free home.
Exterminators and wildlife control specialists do this through a rodent control technique called exclusion, a process that closes off potential entry points to your home. Rodent removal services usually include the sealing of entry points in the total project estimate. For example, Active Animal Trapping's $50 fee to come back and remove rodents from traps sometimes include blocking entry points not sealed on the first visit. If extensive work to seal entry points is necessary, the overall cost will be higher to cover the extra time required and cost of materials.
The initial visit to remove a small infestation of rodents will take around 15 hours. Return service calls can take about an hour. Removing a more extensive infestation can take a few weeks across multiple visits.
Once you've hired an exterminator or wildlife control specialist to help get rid of your rodent problem, the following steps are typically included in the service. Some companies will charge extra for some steps, while others will have them all included in a set-rate package.
Inspect the house to find rodent entry points and nests
First, your specialist will inspect your home. The initial inspection should take about an hour.
During the inspection, they're looking to find out how rodents are entering your home, and what parts of your home have been affected. They'll check every room in the house, under counters and in closets, inside kitchen cabinets and the pantry, attics, garages, basements, ductwork, doors, window wells and doors. They'll be looking for droppings, damage, or signs of entry, all of which will help them determine how many rodents and what type you have.
After inspecting the inside of your home, they'll do a walk around the exterior of the house to look for holes in vents, soffits, gaps in the siding and the areas where pipes go into the house. The technician will ask you where you've seen rodents in the house.
Seal the holes
After the inspection, your professional will close the openings rodents use to come inside. It's a necessary step to remove rodents and keep them from returning. Depending on where the rodent hole is, the technician will plug it with chew-proof steel mesh, copper wire mesh, polyurethane sealant, hardware cloth, caulk or expandable foam to keep rodents out permanently.
Trap the rodents
A professional will use traps to rid your home of rodents. Traps let the animal control specialist confirm that rodents have been captured, and a rodent in a trap is easy to haul away. A good exterminator will not reuse traps from other locations, because rodents carry diseases that can be spread through a used trap.
Return to monitor traps and remove captured rodents
The exterminator or wildlife control specialist will usually return in two or three days to monitor the traps and remove dead rodents from your house. If needed, they'll make a few more visits to check traps and haul off any dead or live animals.
Clean up and repair rodent-caused damage
Most rodent removal companies will repair minor damage to your home and clean urine, feces and other messes left in the areas of the rodent infestation after they have successfully trapped and removed the animals.
These services may not be included in the basic cost of rodent removal. If your house has major damage from rodents, you'll need to hire a contractor or repair company separately.
Recheck the house
Many rodent removal companies include a recheck a few months after the initial pest control treatment to be sure the critters haven't returned.
So, who do you call anyway when you notice a family of rats or raccoons has taken up roost in your roof?
There are two types of professionals who handle rodent removal: pest control exterminators and wildlife control experts. Exterminators or pest control companies can do basic rat control, but a major rat infestation or other rodents may require a wildlife control expert. Wildlife control experts specialize in trapping and removing squirrels, raccoons, possums and large quantities of rats or mice.
Before you hire someone to remove rodents from your home, make sure you:
Look for a certified professional. Certification for rodent control varies by state, with some requiring rodent control certificates. Check to see what your state requires, and be sure the pro you hire has the proper training and credentials to take care of your rodent problem.
Get a free estimate. After your professional has inspected your home and assessed the problem, get an estimate on how much it will cost to get rid of the rodents before you commit. You should also ask if their services include repairs or prevention of a future infestation -- like blocking off the area under your home with chickenwire, or sealing up exit or entry points of your home where rats, mice and other small rodents can get in.
If you're ready to start kicking that pesky rat, mouse or squirrel family out of your house, you can find local exterminators and rodent removal companies near you on Thumbtack.