Updated August 10, 2022
Written by HomeAdvisor.
The average ant exterminator cost is $150 and can range between $80 and $500 for a single treatment. If the ant in your home is significant, you might need more than one treatment. Four treatments a year cost between $400 and $480 but can go as high as $1,400. Ant exterminators might also charge based on the type of ants in your home, the size of the space needing treatment, accessibility to the infestation area, and the extermination method.
In this article
- Average Ant Exterminator Prices
- Identifying Ant Types
- Ant Exterminator Costs by Type
- Ant Exterminator Cost Factors
- DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Average Ant Exterminator Prices
|Average Cost||High Cost||Low Cost|
Identifying Ant Types
There are several hundred species of ants found in North America. About 25of these are home invaders. Here are a few of the most common home-invading ants and how to identify them.
|Carpenter ant||Up to 1/2 inch long; black or black and red; has an evenly rounded thorax; emits a rotten coconut-like smell when disturbed or crushed|
|Fire ant||1/16 – 1/4 inch long; yellowish to reddish to black; has an antenna with a 2-segment club; readily stings|
|Pharaoh ant||Tiny in size, about 1/16 inches long; can range from yellowish to light brown to reddish|
|Sugar ant||Almost 1/2 inch long; yellow and black|
|Argentine ant||1/8 inch long; light to dark brown; has a rounded abdomen base and a single erect node|
Ant Exterminator Costs by Type
Exterminators charge different rates depending on the type of ant. Certain species of ants are more difficult to get rid of and thus cost more. Here’s what you can expect to pay for some of the most common ant types found in homes.
Carpenter Ant Treatment Cost
Treating carpenter ants costs anywhere between $250 and $500. Carpenter ants are one of the most difficult ants to deal with, which is why extermination costs run on the higher side. Their central nests are usually outside, in dead wood or decaying tree stumps. The nest inside the house is likely a satellite nest built to access more space, food, or a hospitable breeding ground. To completely eliminate carpenter ants, you must find and destroy their central nest.
You can do the extermination work yourself, but given the difficulty of eliminating this type of ant, you may be better off hiring a local ant extermination pro to do the job for you.
Exterminating fire ants typically costs between $100 and $300. You can find these ants in the southern U.S., between North Carolina and Texas, but infestations can also occur in the Southwest.
Fire ants are highly aggressive and rush from their nest to bite and sting at the slightest provocation. Some people experience allergic reactions to their bites. For safety’s sake, contact an exterminator to deal with this ant infestation.
The cost to eliminate pharaoh ants is between $200 and $250. These ants typically enter buildings through cracks and other openings but can also get inside on packages, supplies, and furnishings. They can be a nuisance to eliminate because they have a habit of nesting in difficult-to-reach areas, such as inside walls.
Pharaoh ants don’t typically bite, but they harbor pathogenic bacteria that can spread throughout your home, particularly on food.
Exterminators typically charge between $200 and $250 to eliminate sugar ants. These ants mostly seek out sugar and sweets of all kinds, such as honey, jam, cake, and spilled juice in homes, thus the name.
Other Types of Ants
Most other ants that are home invaders—like Argentine ants, odorous house ants, thief ants, and rover ants—will cost $150 on average to eliminate. See if you can identify the type of ant you’re dealing with before you contact a pro. This can help them know the tools they need to bring to do the job or the types of treatments to carry. If you can’t identify the type of ant or aren’t sure, the exterminator can do it when they report for the job.
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Ant Exterminator Cost Factors
Several factors affect the total cost estimate for ant extermination. The main ones are listed below:
Pest control brand
Size and number of treatments
Who you hire will affect how much you pay to fix your ant problem. Orkin and Terminix are two of the most well-known pest control brands, and both use more or less the same methods of ant control. Treatment from either company may consist of insecticides, baits, and other products for use in the ants’ nest or other places where they’re active.
However, plan options and pricing differ between Orkin and Terminix. Orkin offers customers a personalized ant control treatment program that considers your home, ant problem, and the surrounding environment. Terminix offers a standard pest control plan that covers up to 13 different pests, including ants. With this plan, you can go for a one-time or quarterly service.
At Orkin, prices for ant extermination range between $200 and $1,400. Meanwhile, the average Terminix cost for ant extermination ranges from $150 to $1,200, making it slightly less expensive. Ultimately, the actual cost will depend on the size of the area affected and the severity of your ant problem. Expect to pay at least $480 a year for four treatments.
The average hourly cost of hiring a local handyperson for preventive maintenance is $60 to $125 per hour plus materials. A handyperson can prevent future ant infestations by sealing cracks or making other repairs around the house. While hiring an exterminator treats the ant infestation, hiring a handyperson can help fix the problem for good.
Level of Infestation
The infestation level can affect the amount of labor, expertise, method, and length of treatment required, and thus the final ant exterminator cost. A widespread ant infestation in a larger home will cost more than a localized infestation in a smaller home.
|Infestation Level||Average Cost Range for an Ant Exterminator|
|Small||$150 – $300|
|Medium||$300 – $500|
|Large||$400 – $700|
|Severe||$800 – $1,400|
Size and Number of Treatments
A one-time ant examination costs $150 on average. But if you need more than one treatment, most exterminators will often lower the price of the individual treatments when bundling them. So you might pay $100 to $120 per treatment, which translates to around $400 to $480 annually for four treatments. For more severe cases requiring more frequent treatments, costs can reach upwards of $1,400.
Some exterminators might charge based on square footage. For a 2,000-square-foot area, single courses of ant pest control costs around $160 to $330. This price will rise as the size increases and vice versa. For a 4,000-square-foot area, prices can reach up to $500 per visit.
How much you pay will also depend on the method the exterminator uses. The exterminator will assess the species of ant you’re dealing with and where the infestation is located and decide the best approach. You can spend anywhere between $150 and $400, depending on the chosen technique.
Here are the average costs of some of the most common ant extermination methods.
|Extermination Method||Average Cost Range|
|Barrier spray||$80 – $150|
|Mound treatment||$100 – $150|
|Poison treatment||$100 – $220|
|Two-step method||$500 – $1,000+|
|Ant fumigation||$1,300 – $4,000|
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DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
When you buy ant traps at a store, they often only affect the ants you can see. They also won’t work for a huge infestation. To completely eliminate the problem, you need an ant exterminator to target the colony or nest and prevent ants from returning. Additionally, most store-bought treatments don’t work on fire or carpenter ants. Since these ants can cause harm to humans and houses, hiring a pro is the best option.
How to Keep Ants Away From Your Home
Ants can be attracted to your home for various reasons and can enter in many ways. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for keeping them away from your home. These tips, however, can help:
Don’t leave any uncovered food, and remove spilled food and crumbs immediately.
Keep your garbage in tightly closed cans and clean them regularly. Keep them far away from the house where possible.
Seal any gaps, cracks, and other openings that could serve as points of entry for ants in your home.
Move any deadwood, decaying tree stumps, or any other material that can serve as a nesting site for ants away from your home and its foundation.
What does an exterminator do for ants?
A local pest control pro will visit your home and determine the type of ants you’re dealing with, as well as the level of infestation. They’ll try to look for the source of the problem and then determine the best treatment approach. They may return for a follow-up visit after applying the treatment to ensure they’ve eradicated the infestation. If not, they may administer a second dose of treatment.
Should my exterminator use eco-friendly products?
Many exterminators are turning to eco-friendly or green products in recent times to lessen negative impacts on the environment. Some exterminators may still use old chemical-based products, so when getting quotes, ask if your pro uses eco-friendly practices if this is important for you.
Can an ant exterminator also get rid of termites or other insects in the home?
Most exterminators specialize in multiple types of pest control, so they can likely tackle ants and other pests. Just know that pest control costs for multiple infestations and treatments will raise your final price. A professional exterminator will recommend the best course of action for any pest issues.
Keep in mind that the cost of treating different types of pests varies:
Termite extermination cost: $230–$960
Spider extermination cost: $150–$500
Roach extermination cost: $100–$600
Bedbug extermination cost: $300–$5,000
How long does it take for treatment to work?
You can expect to start seeing results in as little as 48 hours for most ant treatments. However, it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks for ant problems to go away completely. The time taken depends on the level of infestation and the treatment method used.
How can I prevent or repel ants?
There are many ways to prevent or repel ants using natural solutions. Some popular methods are listed below:
Make a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water and spray or use it to clean surfaces around your home. The vinegar will leave a strong odor that ants dislike and keep them away.
Put drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them in areas where you find ants.
Sprinkle black pepper or cayenne pepper on places where ants often show up in your home. Make sure to keep these repellants out of the reach of pets and small children.