For many homeowners, there’s no worse indication of an unkept or filthy home than an infestation of pests – like ants. If you find ants inside your house, it’s highly likely that you also have them outside. Depending on the type of ant that you have, you may have to tackle nests or mounds to prevent them from getting inside. Though, for the majority of ant infestations, this isn’t a problem.
Although some folks elect to try to handle the ant infestation themselves, the traps that you purchase from the store typically only affect the ants that you can see. For best results – and especially if you have a major infestation – you need an ant exterminator to come out to your property, target the whole colony of ants, and prevent them from coming back. Not to mention, most store-bought treatments aren’t effective on carpenter ants and fire ants.
The average ant exterminator cost is $250 for a 3,000 square foot house. Homeowners can spend $100 for standard ant repellant treatment, and advanced two-step extermination costs $750. It costs $150 to use poisoned ant bait, homeowners spend an average of $5 per ant mound for extermination.
Continue reading for our comprehensive guide on ant exterminator costs, so you can obtain a more well-rounded understanding of how to appropriately budget for this service.
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Overview of Ant Exterminator Cost
Generally speaking, the cost to hire an ant exterminator will depend on the type of ant, the frequency of the treatments required, the size of the area that needs to be treated, the method of treatment, and the level of infestation. The average cost of ant extermination is between $175 and $325, with $250 being the most common price that homeowners pay to eradicate the issue.
However, depending on the aforementioned factors, ant exterminator costs could be as low as $150 or as high as $1,000. The table below displays a brief overview of the average costs to hire an ant exterminator:
|Average Range||$175 to $325|
|Low End Cost||$150|
|High End Cost||$1,000|
Ant Extermination Cost by Frequency
How often your home requires treatment will determine the average cost of eliminating the ant problem in your home. Most pest control companies offer contracts that allow homeowners to book routine service appointments, which are beneficial for those who are trying to prevent future infestations.
Oftentimes, more frequent appointments are given at a discounted rate compared to one-time visits from the exterminator. The table below outlines the average costs for treating a 2,000 square foot home, based on frequency:
Ant Extermination Cost by Home Size
Some ant exterminators base the cost of their services on the square footage of a home. As you might expect, professionals have to use more chemicals and more labor is required for larger homes and properties. As such, the larger the home, the more you’re going to pay for ant extermination. Here are some estimated treatment costs based on square footage:
|Home Size by Square Foot||Treatment Cost||Quarterly Treatment Cost|
|2,000 square feet||$160||$100|
|2,000 to 3,500 square feet||$180||$110|
|3,500 to 5,000 square feet||$200||$120|
Ant Extermination Cost by Type of Ant
There are countless species of ants across the globe, though most that live in the United States will see some of the more common types frequently. Although you don’t want to have any type of ant inside of your home, there are some that are more harmless than others. Knowing the type of ant that you have in your home will help determine the appropriate treatment for removal.
Not to mention, the type of ant that is infesting your property has a major impact on the cost of extermination, as ants like the fire ant and the carpenter ant cannot be eradicated by DIY methods. For these ants, the only way to get rid of them is to enlist the help of a professional ant exterminator. Also, certain species simply cost more to treat – which we’ll explain below.
|Type of Ant||Extermination Cost|
|Sugar Ant (Little Black Ant)||$150|
|Odorous House Ant||$250|
|Allegheny Mound Ant||$250|
Rover Ant Extermination
Rover ants are a small ant species that are commonly found throughout southern states in the United States. They are roughly 1/16-inch in size, and range in color from yellow to black. The key distinguishing characteristic of rover ants is their uneven body and hump-like appearance.
These ants typically remain outside of the home and will seldom nest indoors. They prefer to set up shop in trash cans, leaf piles, and mulch piles. The cost to exterminate rover ants is around $150, for a one-time treatment.
Sugar Ant Extermination
Sugar ants, also known as little black ants, are 1/16-inch in size and are found throughout most of the United States. They commonly invade pantries and are most prevalent in July and August. The coloring of sugar ants is different between males and females. Male sugar ants are all black in color, while female sugar ants have an orange hue.
As their name suggests, sugar ants seek out sweets, like spilled juice or honey. The cost to exterminate sugar ants is around $150 for a one-time treatment.
Field Ant Extermination
Field ants are a larger species – between 1/5 and 3/8 inch in size. They are black in color and are somewhat similar to carpenter ants, though the lower side of their thorax is rough and has an indentation. Field ants are predatory ants that prey on other ants, as well as caterpillars. The cost to exterminate field ants is about $150 for a single treatment.
Grease Ant Extermination
Also known as thief ants, grease ants are tiny, shiny ants that are 1/16-inch in size and have two distinct segments. They are found throughout much of the United States and can range in color from yellow to a very deep brown. As their name indicates, grease ants prefer greasy foods but they will feed on virtually any type of food.
Activity for these types of ants hits its peak during the summertime, where you’ll usually find them invading kitchens. The cost to exterminate grease ants is roughly $160 for a one-time treatment.
Acrobat Ant Extermination
Acrobat ants are known to nest in soft soil and are usually a strong indication of a moisture problem – such as leaks in your home. These ants range in size from 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch. Winged acrobat ants, or swarmers, are very common from June through Fall from the north to the south coasts of the United States. The cost to exterminate acrobat ants is around $200 for a single treatment.
Citronella Ant Extermination
Citronella ants are a large yellow worker species that are about 1/8-inch in length, while their reproductive are usually twice that size. Their name comes from the distinct lemon scent they give off when crushed. Citronella ants also release the same scent whenever they feel threatened. The cost to exterminate citronella ants is about $200 for a one-time treatment.
Argentine Ant Extermination
Commonly found in the southern states of the United States, Argentine ants are a light brown to black color. They are wingless, have 12 segmented antennae, and are approximately 1/3-inch long. When crushed, Argentine ants emit a musty odor. The cost to exterminate Argentine ants is around $200 for a single treatment.
Pharaoh Ant Extermination
Pharaoh ants are a small species, about 1/16-inch in size, with colors that vary from yellow to yellow-brown to even light red. These ants are a common nuisance in various structures and are known to contaminate food and medicinal processing. The cost to exterminate pharaoh ants is about $200 for a one-time treatment.
Moisture Ant Extermination
A moisture ant is a specific name for ants that live in rotten wood, including ants like citronella ants. These ants prefer damp environments and will nest in the wood surrounding plumbing fixtures and bathtubs. Although moisture ants live inside wood, they are not wood-boring insects. The cost to exterminate moisture ants is around $200 for a single treatment.
Ghost Ant Extermination
Ghost ants are another small ant, measuring about 1/16-inch. Their size, pale gaster, and quick movements, make these ants very difficult to see. These ants can be found both inside and outside of the home in wood, soil, and/or plant cavities. When crushed, ghost ants emit a pungent odor that is similar to rotten coconuts. The cost to exterminate ghost ants is about $200 for a one-time treatment.
Pavement Ant Extermination
Pavement ants are commonly seen around towns and cities, nesting under things like asphalt pavement, rocks, and concrete sidewalks. These ants are indicative of the small mounds of soil that you see around their nests. Another small species, pavement ants are usually around 1/8 of an inch. The cost to exterminate pavement ants is around $250 for a single treatment.
Odorous House Ant Extermination
Odorous house ants are brown or black in color that around 1/8-inch long and have an unevenly shaped thorax. As their name suggests, these ants emit an unpleasant rotten odor when crushed. Although odorous house ants can be found throughout most of the United States, they are less common in desert areas.
They usually nest outdoors under rocks and patio blocks, but move indoors to seek out food. The cost to exterminate odorous house ants is about $250 for a one-time treatment.
Allegheny Mound Ant Extermination
This species is large in size – about 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch long – and have black or reddish-brown font ends with red tail ends. Allegheny mound ants are known for constructing large mounds that are about 1 foot to 3 feet in height. They prefer open outdoor areas for making their nests, such as pastures and fields.
Since they feed on other insects, they are not a common household pest. The cost to exterminate Allegheny mound ants is around $250 for a single treatment.
Fire Ant Extermination
Although fire ants can be found throughout the majority of the United States, they are more common in southern states. These ants are usually red in color, but some may be brown and feature a darker abdomen. Fire ants are between 1/8-inch and ¼-inch, and produce mounds that can be as tall as seven inches.
They are most known for their sting and are also less active during the daytime when temperatures are at their highest. The cost to exterminate fire ants is about $300 for a one-time treatment.
Harvester Ant Extermination
Another large ant species, harvester ants range in color from red to brown and are between ¼-inch and ½-inch in size. They are usually identified by the pair of spines found on its midsection. These ants are found all over the United States, constructing mounds on patches with no vegetation for a diameter of one to three meters. The cost to exterminate harvester ants is around $300 for a single treatment.
Carpenter Ant Extermination
Carpenter ants may be winged or wingless, are usually black, and can vary in size. They are found throughout much of the United States, but are most commonly seen in wooded, rural areas. Unlike fire ants, carpenter ants do not sting. However, these ants are the most expensive species to control since they are notorious for returning.
Oftentimes, carpenter ants are mistaken for termites since both can cause structural damage to wood. However, carpenter ants bore through wood to make their nests, rather than consuming wood as termites do. The cost to exterminate carpenter ants is about $500.
Ant Extermination Cost by Method
The type of extermination method that you or the professional you hire use typically depends on where the infestation is located and the type of ant that you have.
You’ll pay an average of $100 to have a professional come out and treat a defined area of your house using ant repellent. Ant repellent is a type of pesticide that is specifically designed to keep ants away from your house, without completely exterminating them. The goal is to make the area unappealing to the ants to prevent them from nesting on your property. Some common forms of pesticides formulated to repel ants include gels, aerosol sprays, and powders.
Ant Mound Treatment
This method costs around $5 per mound, with an average total treatment cost of $125. When it comes to controlling fire ants, the mound control method is the most effective. This method involves your exterminator drilling into the mound to apply a chemical powder that kills the queen and colony inside.
This process is very challenging and time-consuming, as the professional has to ensure that all the mounds are taken care of. Oftentimes, this method is used in conjunction with additional interior methods.
Poisoned Ant Bait
If you use bait to eliminate your ant problem, you can expect to pay around $150. This interior control method involves placing poisoned bait in designated areas throughout your home that the ants frequent. The ants will then carry the bait back to their nests, where it will kill both the carriers and the other ants. This method is effective at controlling most types of ants.
Though, it’s important to note that this method may take up to 7 days to work, and must be repeated frequently to prevent the ants from returning.
Two-Step Extermination Method
The average cost of a two-step extermination method is upwards of $750. This method involves mound control and another type of control method – whether it’s poisoned bait or spray – for controlling the colonies and eliminating the ants inside. It is typically very effective at eradicating fire ants, but can sometimes miss other types of ants.
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Ant Extermination Cots by Level of Infestation
Ant exterminator costs may also depend on the level of infestation you have, as this determines how much expertise and labor are needed, along with the method and duration of the extermination. The level of ant infestation is usually determined by how long the ants have been infesting your property.
|Level of Infestation||Average Cost|
Small Ant Infestation
Small ant infestations are infestations that are recent. At this point, the ants are trying to grow their colony and you’ll have only spotted a few. With this level of infestation, signs of infestations are small and more difficult to notice. As such, the cost to control a small infestation is around $250, using pesticides or baits.
Medium Ant Infestation
Medium ant infestations are indicative of a growing colony of ants and you’ll notice more ants roaming around. The cost to control a medium ant infestation is around $350 for treatment areas under 3,500 square feet.
Large Ant Infestation
Large ant infestations are a huge nuisance, as the ants are highly noticeable. You’ll see more grass and holes in wood, along with mounds. A large infestation will usually cost you around $500. Though, the cost will increase if you need multiple visits from a professional. In this case, expect to pay between $75 and $100 for each follow-up visit.
Severe Ant Infestation
With severe ant infestations, the colony is huge and the ants can be found in more areas throughout the home. Since the colony is so big, the worker ants have to be more active to find food. The cost to control a severe infestation could be about $1,000 for professional services, especially if the infestation requires the two-step removal method.
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Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.
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