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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Home Maintenance & Moving > Ant Control

Ant Control Cost


How Much Does Ant Control Cost?

 
low costDIY Removal: $4-$55high costProfessional Removal: $50-$1,000+

There are more than 12,000 species of ants worldwide, and different species require different control methods. The University of California Integrated Pest Management Program provides an overview of ant anatomy[1] .The University of California[2] and the University of Texas offer step-by-step tools for identifying the most common ants in their areas. Check with local agricultural officials to see which ants are common in a specific region.

Typical costs:

  • Inexpensive do-it-yourself ant control methods include squirting white vinegar or a 50-50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water on surfaces that attract ants; shaking cinnamon, black pepper or baby powder on these areas; or spraying problem spots with equal amounts of window cleaner and liquid soap. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth (about $10-$12 for a four pound bag, online or through a pool store) is believed by its users to dehydrate the ants and kill them. Vacuuming ant trails or sponging or mopping them away can be more effective than using indoor insecticide spray, according to the University of California Integrated Pest management Program[3] . It's also important to clean and inspect the home, eliminating all potential sources of ant food and water.
  • Poison bait that is carried back to the nest to eliminate the entire colony is slower but more effective than spraying insecticide on the visible indoor ants, according to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture[4] . Bait is insecticide mixed with ant-attractant materials. Some people report success mixing boric acid (borax, $4-$7 for one pound, online or at hardware and home improvement stores) with sugar or some other sweet. Pre-filled bait traps or stakes designed for consumer use can cost $3-$55, depending on the brand, type and amount. For example, a six-pack of Terro bait traps[5] , a borax-based ant control method, is sold at hardware and discount stores for $5-$10. If home remedies or do-it-yourself efforts don't solve the problem, many common household ants can be eliminated by a general pest control treatment which costs $50-$300 or more for a first application, depending on the size of the house. Follow-up maintenance service can cost $25-$60 for monthly applications or $30-$110 for quarterly service, a total annual cost of $300-$600 or more.
  • Carpenter ants tunnel through wood to make their nests, which can cause structural damage Controlling carpenter ants can start at $25-$50 for a do-it-yourself approach eliminating an easily accessible outdoor nest to $500-$1,000 or more to have a professional do a drill-and-dust application (drilling holes and filling them with insecticide dust) to every void in every wall in the house, according to the Iowa State University Extension[6] . Monthly follow-up treatments are typically recommended to avoid new infestations. Ongoing maintenance treatments can cost about $250 per year, according to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst[7] .
  • Fire ant control can cost $10-$50 or more for do-it-yourself methods, or $100-$300 or more for treatment by a pest control company or landscaping service.
Related articles: Fire Ant Control, Pest Control

What should be included:
  • Ants can play a beneficial role in the garden. It's impossible to eliminate all ants in an outdoor area, and whole-yard treatments can eliminate beneficial ants.
  • Indoor ant colonies can be located in spaces behind walls, cabinets and appliances, behind window and door frames, and beneath floors and concrete slabs. The pest control professional should thoroughly inspect the home first, usually with the homeowner present to answer questions about recent ant activity. Once the nest is located and the ant species identified, the technician will determine whether to set up reusable bait stations and/or spray the interior and exterior of the home.
  • For carpenter ants, once the nest is located, the technician will typically drill holes and treat the surrounding wood with insecticide, moving outward from the nest's location, and ending with a residual insecticide spray of the home's perimeter. BugSpray.com posts a video showing how to track carpenter ant trails[8] .
Shopping for ant control:
  • Get estimates from several companies. Find out how long the company has been in business, what type of training and experience the employees have, and what sort of guarantee is provided. The National Pest Management Association lists tips for choosing a pest control company[9] .
  • The National Pest Management Association and the Termite Institute offer locators to search for a local exterminator.
  • Ask for (and contact) references from satisfied customers.
  • Before a contract is signed, the pest control company should provide a detailed written statement outlining the extent of the infestation and the specific measures that will be taken, including listing any pesticides that will be used. Be sure to understand what precautions need to be taken before, during and after the treatment.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
ants in bathroom
Amount: $10.00
Posted by: dmac in ROCKLAND, MA.Posted: July 30th, 2014 10:07AM
Type of Ant: carpenterRemoval Method: traps
they were in drain too, poured drano down drains and used ant traps
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External Resources:
  1.  www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/TOOLS/ANTKEY/antid2.html
  2.  www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/TOOLS/ANTKEY/index.html
  3.  www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7411.html
  4.  www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef619.asp
  5.  www.terro.com/products/liquid-ant-baits
  6.  www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1993/6-16-1993/cants.html
  7.  bct.eco.umass.edu/publications/by-title/controlling-termites-and-carpenter-ants/
  8.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc90GvxgALw
  9.  www.pestworld.org/find-a-pest-control-professional/tips-on-finding-a-pro/
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