Ants are a common household nuisance that can quickly become a significant problem if not addressed promptly. Whether you’re dealing with a few stray ants on your kitchen counter or a full-blown infestation, understanding the costs associated with ant extermination is essential.
In this article, we’ll explore how much does pest control for ants cost and provide insights into the types of ants you might encounter.
What Is Pest Control?
Pest control refers to the regulation or management of species defined as pests. These are typically creatures that can cause harm to health, the ecology, or the economy. In the context of this article, we are focusing on ants, which can be both a nuisance and a threat to the structural integrity of homes, especially when dealing with species like carpenter ants.
Types Of Ants
There are numerous ant species, each with its unique characteristics and behaviors. Here are some of the most common types you might encounter in and around your home:
Carpenter ants are known for their love of wood. They tunnel through it to create their nests. Unlike termites, they don’t consume wood but discard it as sawdust. If you notice trails of sawdust around your home, especially near wooden structures, it’s a sign of carpenter ants. These ants can cause structural damage if not addressed.
Recognizable by their reddish-brown color, fire ants are notorious for their painful stings. They are commonly found outdoors and are attracted to food scraps. Their mounds can be easily spotted, especially after rain.
Pharaoh And Other House Ants
Pharaoh ants are versatile eaters and can infiltrate homes in search of food. Another common household ant is the odorous house ant, which emits a distinct rotten coconut smell when crushed.
Average Cost Of Pest Control For Ants
Ant extermination typically costs between $80 and $500, with the average being around $150. This cost can vary based on several factors:
Different ant species might require varied extermination methods. For instance, carpenter ants might be more expensive to deal with than fire ants.
- Pharaoh and sugar ants: $200–$250
- Fire ants: $100–$300
- Carpenter ants: $250–$500
The methods used by the exterminator, whether it’s sprays, baits, or traps, can also influence the price.
For those considering DIY methods, there are several treatments available:
- Granule ant baits: $10–$20
- Gel ant baits: $20–$30
- Bait stations: $20–$30
However, for larger infestations, it’s recommended to seek professional help. Not only do they have the expertise, but in the long run, it might be more cost-effective as they can address the root of the problem, preventing future infestations.
Hiring an ant exterminator typically costs around $150 on average if your infestation requires just a one-time treatment. Prices can be as low as $80 or as high as $500, depending on various factors. If your situation demands multiple treatments throughout the year, you’ll be charged an initial fee ranging from $150 to $300. Subsequent treatments will cost between $40 and $70 each.
Level Of Infestation
The size and severity of the infestation can significantly influence the cost. If the ant invasion is localized, affecting only a small portion of your home, the cost will be on the lower end. However, if the infestation is extensive and requires more time and visits to control, the pest control cost can increase substantially.
Square Footage/Square Meters
The size of your home can also determine the cost of ant extermination. Larger homes will naturally cost more than smaller ones. For instance:
- 2,000 square feet: $160
- 2,000–3,500 square feet: $180
- 3,500–5,000 square feet: $200
Type Of Pest
The type of ant infesting your home can also affect the extermination cost. Carpenter ants, which tend to bury themselves in walls and dig nests into wood framing, are generally more challenging to eliminate. As a result, exterminating carpenter ants can cost between $250 and $500. In contrast, removing fire ants might cost between $100 and $300. Other ants, like pharaoh and sugar ants, will cost between $200 and $250, while black or rover ants might be around $150.
Professional Exterminator Vs. DIY Treatment
If you’re dealing with a minor infestation, you might consider DIY methods like granule ant baits, gel ant baits, and bait stations. These treatments can be effective for small-scale problems. However, for larger infestations or recurring issues, it’s advisable to hire a professional exterminator.
While professional services might seem more expensive initially, they can ensure the ant problem is addressed effectively and safely. Moreover, DIY treatments can quickly become as costly as professional services if multiple treatments are needed.
Types Of Treatments Used For Ants
To effectively combat ants, various treatments have been developed over the years. These treatments range from natural remedies to more potent chemical solutions. Understanding the different types of treatments available can help homeowners make informed decisions on the best approach to take, depending on the specific ant species and the severity of the infestation. Here are some of these treatments discussed:
Ant baits come in various forms, such as gels, liquids, granules, and solids. All ant baits contain a combination of a pesticide and an attractant. The attractants can be sugars, carbohydrates, or proteins. The active ingredient in these baits is designed to have a delayed effect, ensuring it doesn’t kill the ants immediately. This delay allows worker ants to carry the bait back to the colony, where it’s shared with other ants, including the queen. Over time, the poison in the bait exterminates the entire colony.
If you’re looking for an effective solution, consider applying Organic Insect Killer Granules around foundations, lawns, and landscaped areas to eliminate or repel ants. Additionally, pre-filled outdoor bait stations can be set where ants are frequently found.
Odorous House Ants
The odorous house ant is known for emitting a rotten coconut smell when crushed. These ants are particularly attracted to sweets and water. You might observe hundreds of these ants suddenly appearing if food or crumbs are left around the house. This species can spread harmful bacteria, so it’s crucial to ensure that no food sources attract them. To repel them, consider using natural methods like essential oils or white vinegar.
Carpenter ants are named for their affinity for wood. They can cause significant damage by tunneling through wooden structures in homes. Unlike termites, they don’t consume wood but discard it as sawdust. If you notice trails of sawdust around wooden elements in your home, it’s a sign of a carpenter ant infestation. These ants prefer damp areas, so it’s essential to address any moisture issues in your home, especially around leaky showers, windows, and basements.
Pavement ants have two distinct nodes and fine striations on their head and thorax. These small brown ants create characteristic “ant hills” or nests along sidewalks, patios, parks, and yards. They are commonly found in New England and can be seen traveling in groups at a relatively slow pace. They tend to build nests along the edges of paved driveways, making it easy for them to enter homes.
Allergic Reactions To Treatment Methods
When it comes to pest control treatments for ants, it’s crucial to be aware of potential allergic reactions that some individuals might experience. These reactions can range from mild skin irritations to more severe respiratory issues. Here’s what you need to know:
- Skin Reactions: Some individuals might experience redness, itching, or hives at the site where the pest control product was applied or came into contact with the skin.
- Respiratory Issues: Inhaling fumes or particles from certain pest control treatments can lead to respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or a tight feeling in the chest.
- Eye Irritation: Some treatments can cause eye irritation, leading to redness, itching, or a burning sensation.
Factors Influencing Reactions:
- Type Of Treatment: The specific chemicals or natural ingredients used in the treatment can influence the type and severity of allergic reactions. For instance, some might be more sensitive to organic treatments, while others might react to synthetic chemicals.
- Method Of Application: Sprays can lead to inhalation of the product, while baits or gels might lead to skin contact.
- Individual Sensitivities: Some people are more prone to allergic reactions due to their genetic makeup, previous exposures, or existing allergies.
- Read Labels: Always read the label of any pest control product to understand its ingredients and potential side effects.
- Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation when using sprays or fumigants to prevent inhalation of harmful fumes.
- Protective Gear: Use gloves, masks, and eye protection when applying treatments, especially if you’re prone to allergies.
- Consultation: If you have known allergies or sensitivities, consult with a professional before using any pest control treatments. They can provide guidance on the safest products and methods for your situation.
- Immediate Action: If you or someone in your household experiences severe allergic reactions after treatment, seek medical attention immediately.
Preventing Future Infestations Of Ants
Ant infestations can be a nuisance, but with the right preventive measures, you can keep these tiny invaders at bay. Here are some effective strategies to prevent future ant infestations:
- Wash Your Dishes: Regularly washing your dishes, especially after meals, can prevent ants from being attracted to leftover food particles. Keeping dirty dishes piled up is an open invitation for ants.
- Clean Your Counters Daily: Ensure that your kitchen counters are free from crumbs and food residues. A simple trick is to squat down and check the counter at eye level to spot any missed crumbs.
- Sweep Your Floor: Regularly sweeping and mopping your floors can prevent ants from being attracted to food particles on the ground. Consider investing in a handheld vacuum for quick clean-ups.
- Clean Out Your Pantry: Periodically empty your pantry and vacuum any food particles that might have fallen. This can prevent ants from being attracted to these food sources.
- Invest In Airtight Containers: Store food items like cereals, rice, and even pet food in airtight containers. This not only keeps ants away but also other pests like pantry beetles.
- Clean With A Vinegar Solution: A 50/50 water-vinegar solution can be an effective cleaning agent. While vinegar doesn’t necessarily kill ants, its scent can deter them.
- Watch Out For Leaks: Ensure there are no leaks in your home, especially under sinks. Ants are attracted to moisture, and even a small leak can be a water source for them.
- Take Out Your Garbage: Regularly emptying your trash bins and ensuring that garbage is collected timely can prevent ants and other pests from being attracted to the waste.
- Seek Professional Help: If you notice a severe ant infestation or are unsure about the type of ants in your home, consider seeking help from professional exterminators. They can provide targeted treatments and advice on preventing future infestations.
Understanding The Costs Of Pest Control For Ants
Dealing with ants can be a hassle, but understanding the costs and types of ants can help homeowners make informed decisions. While the sight of a single ant might not be alarming, a full-blown infestation requires prompt attention. Understanding the types of treatments and the specific species you’re dealing with can help in effectively addressing the problem. Whether you opt for DIY treatments or professional extermination, it’s essential to address the issue quickly to prevent further complications and potential damage to your home.
Find pest control services near you by visiting Last Pest and browse through the available resources to learn more.