People have written appealing songs about ants and their “high hopes,” and many movies have been made about them, but very few of us want them in our homes. Not only do they ruin food and make us uncomfortable, but they can even jeopardize our safety. Carpenter ants, as a prime example, chew wood inside of a home and can weaken the overall structure. They can carry disease, bite people and pets, and even jeopardize our overall health. Fire ants are a prime example, and they have been known to trigger horrific responses in infants, toddlers, the elderly, and many pets.
The good news is that we have figured out the way they operate and know that we can find them close to their sources of food. Whether that food is something a human eats or the building materials around our homes, it is an excellent way to find just where ants have taken up residence. Once you know where they are, it becomes easier to exterminate them.
Because they live in colonies, it makes it easier than you might think to set out bait that can be returned to the colonies where it quickly destroys ants at all stages of life. However, not all ant exterminator costs are the same.
Fire ants and carpenter ants, as an example, are going to cost far more to eliminate than the standard invasion of small black ants. The methods used vary from the poisoned baits to chemical sprays, ongoing treatments (such as a monthly treatment), a two-step approach (commonly used in fire ant mounds), and a far more advanced dust and drill technique.
|Single-visit extermination service||$150-$1,000 depending on the type of ant|
|Carpenter ant treatment||$500 for initial treatment|
|Contractual treatment (monthly/bi-annually/quarterly)||$600-$1,500|
|Handyman to seal cracks ants use to enter the home||$100|
|Monthly treatment||Initial visits run $50 to $80 and then monthly re-applications around $30|
Other considerations and costs
- Ants lay down a trail of food for other ants to find and follow, and this means that if your problem is limited to just a few ants, cleaning the area and treating it with spray poison may be a fast and affordable remedy
- Many homeowners swear by the use of diatomaceous earth along the cracks and entrances into a home
- Some extermination services will provide clients with green or eco-friendly baits and pesticides. If there are pets or small kids in the house, these may be an appealing option, though they will cost more
- It is possible to ask an exterminator to find and destroy all fire and carpenter ant nests in the yard around a home. Most ask only a small amount per nest, and by destroying the “queen” of the colony, it effectively eliminates the entire colony
- It is a DIY option but to a limited degree. One or two ants and a bit of poison may do the trick. If you experience an ongoing infestation, it is best to bring in an expert to tackle the work.
- While there are a lot of baits available in hardware and home improvement stores, along with different chemicals, if the problem is persistent, it is a wise idea to hire an ant exterminator for the work.
- Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
- Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
- Literature review of DIY Web sites.