Rats breed at an incredible rate and if you see one in your home or garden, there’s a good chance there are more hiding somewhere. According to newspaper reports in 2021, there are now two rats for every human in London and many other cities are also witnessing an increase in the number of these pests.
In the countryside, mice are more of a problem but the control methods are the same for both species.
On this page we’ll cover:
- How much does it cost to get a pest control expert to deal with rats.
- How many visits will be required.
- Which methods work best.
- Additional charges/costs.
- Steps you can take to stop the rodents from coming back.
Rat Control Prices: Update for 2022
The prices below are for a typical rat control treatment for a 2-3 bed home in the UK:
|Rat control with rodenticide||£185 (up to 3 visits)|
|Rat proofing||Subject to survey|
What you need to know about these prices:
We contacted 42 pest control firms from various locations in the UK and asked how much they charged for rat treatment to a small 3-bed home. The prices displayed above are a national average – based on the figures given to us.
- The figures include VAT when it was charged.
- Pest control experts in the south of the UK charged around 10-30% more than the national average.
- Firms in the north of the UK charged around 10-30% less than the national average.
- The prices were for traditional baiting and include 2-3 visits.
- The cost of treatment isn’t determined by the number of bedrooms in a house but homes or premises with very large kitchens, larders or outside food storage areas may cost more.
How Many Visits Will Be Required to Get Rid of Rats?
We asked our chosen 42 pest control firms how many visits are normally required to deal with a rat infestation.
Obviously, every project is different and there’s no such thing as a typical infestation but of the respondents:
None of them stated that the rats could be dealt with after just one visit.
81% of the respondents stated that rat infestations are usually resolved after 2-3 visits.
19% stated that it would require 4 or more visits.
Which Methods Work Best?
There are several methods the pest control expert can use to get rid of rats and the most common is baiting, which involves laying poisoned food near the nest and also inside a box along their preferred routes they travel. The rat eats the food and then carries it to the nest where the poison may affect more of the pests. This method is usually enough to get rid of an infestation but old fashioned traps can also be deployed if the expert feels the situation warrants it.
Humane traps can also be laid down but these usually take longer work as rats are very cautious animals and it’s difficult to get every rat to enter a trap.
No two rat control projects are the same and you may need to pay more for:
Repeat Visits: Pest control experts will offer a price that includes a set number of visits. If you need another visit, that will cost extra, although 38% of the firms we contacted offered a discount for repeat customers who required another visit within a set timeframe.
Humane Traps: While humane traps do work, your pest control expert may need to use many of them and more visits will probably be required. Also, rats are suspicious animals and not every rat will go into a trap, hence why poison is the preferred option.
Rat Proofing: If rats have found a way into your home or garden, this will need to be blocked so they don’t return. Rats often use pipes to gain access and will chew through the plastic to make a hole, they also dig under fences and other obstacles. The cost of rat-proofing a home will depend on the results of a survey and could be something cheap and simple such as blocking a hole while more complex barriers and seals could also be required. The rat control prices on this page do not include any complex rat proofing.
How Homeowners and Businesses Can Stop Rats From Coming Back
There are several steps homeowners, tenants and businesses can take to stop rats from coming back once the pest control expert has dealt with the initial nest:
- Don’t use open compost heaps.
- Make sure the rats cannot access compost bins; metal bins are more robust than plastic ones.
- Make sure waste wheelie bin lids are fully closed and never left ajar.
- Clean up pet food waste promptly.
- Bird feeders should have sealed lids and any food leftovers should be removed.
- Clean up the garden and have a general tidy up.
- Keep foodstuffs inside sealed containers and never on open worktops or shelves that rats can access.
- Thoroughly check the exterior of the home and seal any gaps under doors, fences, sheds, garages, pipes and roofs that the rats could be using to gain access.
DIY Rat Control Products That Work
Consumers can buy bait boxes that contain poison, these are similar to the products the professionals use and should be placed along known routes that the rats are using.
Each box contains poison on a stick which looks like a kebab, this prevents the rats from dragging the harmful poison outside where other wild animals or pets may consume it.
The bait boxes are designed specifically for rats and hedgehogs or children won’t be able to access the poison.
The boxes work best if you place some natural food near them to attract the rats. If rats are attracted to birdseed you place in the garden or pet food you leave out, place some in or near the boxes so the rats are attracted to it.
Pest Expert sells affordable rat bait boxes with well-dosed poison:
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