Bad ant infestations generally require professional help. DIY bait traps are no match against the unseen ant colonies that could be living in walls or around the exterior of a home. According to experts at B & D Pest Solutions in Staten Island, New York, some ant colonies have millions of ants, so eliminating those visible in the house is just the tip of the iceberg. Ants communicate by leaving pheromone-like chemical trails that alert other members of their colony to food sources. Washing dishes and keeping crumbs off the floor is not enough to deter the ants. If a house has been marked as a hot food spot, pest professionals can help erase those chemical trails that keep the ants coming back for more.
A multipronged approach needs to be taken for more severe ant infestations. The pest pros at B & D Pest Solutions eliminate visible ants, then track down active ant nests and eliminate those as well. The company’s exterminators then scrub identified entry points with special detergent to eliminate the ant pheromones and apply a residual insecticide to prevent future ant visitors. Common household ants include carpenter ants, fire ants, crazy ants, rover ants, odorous house ants, and others. Different cities and states have different types of ants. Different types of ants respond to different treatments, so it’s important to have a pro who knows their ant facts. Most states regulate the licensure of pest control professionals, so for safety, it’s a good idea to confirm that pest professionals are registered appropriately. Several factors affect the cost of exterminating ants in a home, office or commercial space.
Some pest professionals charge by the square foot to treat ant problems. The larger the house or commercial property, the more chemicals and employee labor required and the more expensive to treat. Here Falkin Pest Control in Carrollton, Texas, breaks down costs for general pest treatment:
Up to 2,000 square feet: $159 for a one-time treatment; $99 for quarterly treatments
2,000 to 3,500 square feet: $179 for a one-time treatment; $109 for quarterly treatments
3,500 to 5,000 square feet: $199 for a one-time treatment; $119 for quarterly treatment
- Treatment includes foundation barrier spray (8-foot continuous barrier around property perimeter), eave and overhang treatment, extended barrier yard treatment (application of a water-activated granule that combats subterranean ants), exterior void application, interior baseboard application, and interior voids (such as plumbing voids under the sink).
Some ant extermination professionals charge a flat rate, which generally covers a set quantity of services on a one-time basis. Some companies offer a warranty or guarantee of retreatment if the ants return within a certain period of time. Here are some examples of flat rate costs for ant extermination:
Kuma Pest Control in Lawrenceville, Georgia
- Interior and exterior pest control maintenance: $75 per visit
Pest Solutions in Wappingers Falls, New York
- General pest control: $95 for 45 minutes
One-time ant treatment: $135 (excludes carpenter ants)
New York carpenter ant elimination package with one-year guarantee: $225
Prevention is key to avoiding or minimizing ant problems—and saving money on treatment costs. Here are a few prevention tips from Hitman Pest Control in Port Saint Lucie, Florida:
Ants look for food and shelter in the kitchen, so keep it extra clean. They typically enter through tiny crevices and cracks and hide under the kitchen sink, in cupboards and other dark places.
Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, even if you don’t wash them right away, rinse them and keep them immersed in soapy water.
Mop up food spills with soapy water right away and keep your kitchen floor crumb-free.
Take out the garbage frequently.
Keep kitchen containers sealed tightly and all jars and cans covered and put away.
Some pest control companies charge a separate travel fee for services outside of their standard service range. These fees help cover employee work time, fuel and transportation costs (such as toll fees).