Rat Control vs. Extermination: Understanding the Difference

Sydney is facing a rat crisis, with many homeowners in the CBD forking out big money to fend off the city’s alarmingly large, fast-growing rat population. It’s not just the CBD that’s suffering from the rat infestation; family suburbs like Coogee are beginning to feel the effects as well. 

If you need to remove some rats, taking a moment to check out the different options available and picking one that’ll solve your problem with minimal disruptions is key. The most popular choices are Rat control services, and extermination services. 

This guide deep dives into the difference between rat control services and extermination, highlighting how to choose the right approach.  

The Role of Rat Control Services: 

Rat control services focus on removing the infestation at the source. It’s all about keeping the mice out of your home from the get-go. If you keep them out, you don’t have to use chemicals and pay out for costly exterminations regularly. 

Exterminations focus on the immediate problem, killing off the entire population in one or more sessions. They aren’t a bad thing by any means and are incredibly effective at removing large infestations fast. Modern extermination techniques tend to be less environmentally damaging. However, they don’t prevent future infestations from recurring. 

Pest control differs in that is not only removes the immediate threat, but reduces the chances of reinfestation. By following a prevention and maintenance approach, including sealing off entry points, setting up barriers and traps, and implementing preventative measures such as regular inspections and maintenance. We can effectively mitigate pests from the location. 

You’ll find: 

  • – Rat control services will usually focus on prevention rather than extermination. 
  • – The preventative measures like sealing entry points and setting traps, as well as regular maintenance and inspections. 
  • – Best practices for rat control include using environmentally friendly solutions wherever possible. 

Understanding Extermination Techniques: 

Most Australian exterminators use one of two techniques – baiting or trapping. Both have their pros and cons and situations where they work best. 

Baiting, the most common method, is the process of placing pet-friendly and child-friendly rodent stations in and around the target property. They are positioned strategically to initially focus on internal locations, subflooring and external roof cavities. 

We then maintain these through regular replenishments, depending on the activity of the pests. 

Trapping is slightly different, it focuses on quickly removing mice and rodents through snap traps and glue boards strategically placed around the location. 

Both methods are effective, but have their different ideal situations. Trapping is great for rapidly exterminating a population, but is more hazardous to baiting. Baiting works great for a safe method of reducing pest population, but is more suited to long-term results. 

Pros and Cons of Rat Control Services: 


  • – Stop future infestations 
  • – Prevent property damage 
  • – Comprehensive pest management service that targets the root of the problem 
  • – Less environmentally impactful 


  • – Ongoing maintenance/services generally required and recommended 
  • – Can be expensive if the infestation or property is large 

Pros and Cons of Extermination: 


  • – Rapid results 
  • – Affordable 


  • – Ongoing future maintenance required. Lifetime results should not be expected. 

Think of extermination as a lightning-fast, one-and-done approach. You’ll get rid of the pests fast, but they might come back in future. Ongoing maintenance for any property is a must, just like servicing your vehicle. Mice control services remove the cause and are slow and steady. Over time, the instances of infestation reduce marginally or stop completely.  

Cost Considerations: 

If you’ve been asking your mates to see how much their pest management costs, you might’ve heard a range of responses. That’s because the price of service varies depending on the size of your home, severity of infestation, technique used, etc. 

National averages suggest rat control costs $300-$700. A pre-inspection tends to be around $250. Sydney prices skew slightly higher than elsewhere in Aus, due to sky-high demand and lack of available exterminators.  

Exterminations tend to be more expensive, but less appointments. You’ll usually eradicate all pests after one or two sessions.  

Rat control services tend to be less expensive but require more sessions. Over time, you’ll save more money with a control-focused approach, as you are far less likely to get more infestations. Your home will have safeguards in place to stop mice from getting in and spreading like crazy.  

As always, your best bet is to give Sydney Pest Crew a call and get your free quote today. We’ll be able to give you an accurate range of the services you need. 

Choosing the Right Approach: 

Both approaches are good to use in different circumstances. If you’re facing a large infestation or need to remove a pet fast, extermination might be a good place to start. You can always follow the initial extermination service with ongoing pest management, including pest control.  

Want to stop future rat infestations? Rat control is a far better option than extermination. Ongoing pest control treatments are designed to prevent future infestations and keep your home safe from unwanted pests. This approach may cost more in the short term but can ultimately save you money in the long run by preventing future infestations and potential damage to your home.  

One thing to think about is NSW pest legislation. Technicians are bound by the Pesticides Regulation 2017 and are recommended to hold a licence under the National Standard for Licensing Pest Management. Safe use practices should always be explained to you by a provider before treatment, and they need to follow the guidelines on inspections and pesticide use or face a fine.  


Picking a service that’s right for you depends on your home and pest management needs. Exterminations are great for handling one-off, large infestations. If you want to stop multiple ongoing pests? Pest control targets the source and instils safeguards that stop unwanted animals and bugs entering your home. 

Chat with one of our technicians now at Sydney Pest Crew. With plenty of experience combating Sydney’s pests, all of the proper licences, and a commitment to customer satisfaction, we’re a one-stop-shop for pest control.  

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to pest management. Don’t wait until an infestation occurs – book now. 

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