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Owning a house is enjoyable, except when a few pesky visitors overstay their welcome. Case in point: rats. Apart from nibbling through your walls and chewing your electrical wires, the biggest thing to fear is the health risk they bring into your home. Rats are carriers of diseases and bacterial infections, which could be transferred to you through urine, feces, infected food, and even ticks and fleas. That possibility alone should make you want to get rid of rats for good. But where do you start?

In this article, we answer your questions about the best ways to get rid of your rat problem. How much does a rat exterminator cost? Are there home remedies with instant results? Keep reading, and you’re bound to find a solution to your rat problem.


How Will You Know If You Have a Rat Problem?

Broken walls or chipped wires do not automatically mean you have rats in the house. Before you act on your suspicion, the wise thing to do would be to inspect your home. Here are common telltale signs to watch out for. Pro tip: Just remember the four S’s.


Rats have a very distinct smell, akin to ammonia or metals. It is often the first sign you will notice, given that rats tend to leave their urine and feces lying around.


Another easy sign to spot is their sound. Rats are noisy creatures in several ways. Their mouths squeak, their nails scratch at surfaces, and their quick walking echoes through the house. If you hear these sounds regularly, then it is safe to assume that you have rats in the house.

Smears and Smudges

Rats have a hard time staying in place and like to travel around homes. While the thought is terrifying, this will work to your advantage when spotting them. They usually leave small, dark feces while moving around a house, as well as smudge marks along the walls.


Rats are notorious for damaging household items along their way. The usual victims are electric wires, wooden furniture, plastic containers, dry food items left in the pantry, and anything made out of paper. Let’s just hope you spot them before this happens.


Are There DIY Home Remedies to Fix Your Rat Problem?

Yes, there are a few things we recommend you do in the wake of a rat problem. However, keep in mind that they do not guarantee a complete termination of rats.

Clean and Clear Your House

As you probably know by now, rats can eat just about anything. By cleaning the floors and tabletops and clearing surfaces from food and household objects, you will be taking away their sustenance.

Seal Your Walls

Rats reside inside your walls and may make their way out through tiny holes and gaps. Once you spot a gap, immediately seal it with sturdy materials like cement, metal, or wire wool.

Make a Rat Deterrent Using Natural Ingredients

Most of these ingredients may already be available in your kitchen. All you need to do is spread them in open holes and gaps around the house. This is also a great way to prevent a rat problem from happening in the first place. Sprinkle them outside your home to avoid rats from entering. Some of the widely used ingredients that irritate rats’ noses include:

  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic cloves
  • Pepper spray
  • Peppermint oil

Put Out a Rat Trap

This is the fastest and most effective way to kill rats without poisoning them. Make sure to place your rat traps in areas they usually pass, then top them with bait like fruits or sweet treats.


When Should You Get a Rat Exterminator, and How Much Do They Cost?

If you want a guaranteed solution that will get rid of your rats for good, hire a rat exterminator. Upon visiting your home, they will identify vulnerable areas where rats can enter, as well as their hiding spots within your home. They will also help you get to the root of your problem to prevent rats from coming back.

Depending on the rat terminator you get and the services you choose to avail, it may cost you between $200 to $800—a small price to pay for peace of mind and getting your home back from an infestation of rats.