How Much Does an Ant Exterminator Cost?

Lauren Murphy
Written by Lauren Murphy
Updated January 24, 2022
Father and son eat breakfast in kitchen
Photo: MoMo Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Ant exterminators cost $150 on average, with costs often ranging from $80 to as much as $500

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Ants are our friends outdoors, but indoors, they’re a different story. If you spy streams of these creatures crawling inside your home, consider hiring an exterminator to get rid of the ants. Ant exterminators base their prices on the type of ant infestation, the size of the space that needs treatment, and the number of treatments needed.

How Much Does an Ant Exterminator Cost Per Square Foot?

Because exterminators need to use more chemicals and spend more time treating larger areas, some charge per square foot, especially for clients with larger houses or properties. If you’re dealing with a widespread ant infestation in your large family home, extermination treatments will cost at least a few hundred dollars. For an average 2,000-square-foot home, a one-time ant exterminator treatment will cost between $150 and $330. That price will increase as property size increases (and vice versa).

If you have a large ant infestation to deal with, you may need extensive pest removal. That may warrant multiple extermination treatments, which can cost up to $1,400 per year for a 2,000-square-foot area

How Much Does It Cost to Exterminate Ants Yourself?

You can purchase ant traps at your local home improvement store for about $5 per package. Spray insecticides are another DIY option, costing about $10 per can. Small infestations only warrant one or two traps or one can of insecticide sprays.

These tactics can work for a small infestation, but you’ll have better luck calling in a pro for severe ant issues. And it’s important to note that most store-bought ant treatments aren’t effective against fire ants or carpenter ants, which can cause serious damage to your home.

How Much Does an Ant Exterminator Cost by Type?

4 extermination costs compared by ant type, with fire ant extermination averaging $200

There are several types of ants that can infest your home, each one with its own set of concerns.

Carpenter Ants

When most people think of ants, they picture a carpenter ant. Carpenter ants are the most efficient wood-destroying insects in North America and one of the continent’s most common. Carpenter ants are black or reddish-brown and quite large, with sizes ranging from three-eighths to one-half inch long.

If you give them enough time, carpenter ants can wreak havoc on a home’s woodwork by building nests and tunnels throughout it, which will lead to significant structural damage. Unfortunately, they’re notoriously difficult to wipe out. Exterminators charge between $250 and $500 to treat carpenter ants.

Fire Ants

You can mostly find fire ants in the southern United States. They’re smaller than carpenter ants and red in color. Fire ants can be dangerous to humans because of their painful bite, which causes allergic reactions in some people. Exterminating fire ants will cost between $100 and $300, depending on the size of the infestation.

Sugar Ants

Sugar ants are very small black ants that seek out sugar and sweets. If your toddler is prone to spilling their juice in hard-to-clean areas, sugar ants are a concern. Exterminators will charge about $150 to get rid of them.

Other Ants

Most ants, on average, will cost $150 to exterminate. Carpenter ants and fire ants are more expensive to exterminate because they can be difficult to get rid of. Before you call a local exterminator, see if you can identify what type of ants you have. If you aren’t able to, your exterminator can do it.

What Factors Influence the Cost of an Ant Exterminator?

The overall extent of your ant infestation will determine your total ant exterminator cost. Ant exterminators may also charge based on the type of ants they’re dealing with, the accessibility of the infestation area, and the size of the infestation.

Ant Type

Exterminator costs will differ based on the type of ants they need to kick out of your home. Carpenter ants and fire ants are relatively difficult to remove (plus, removing fire ants can pose a safety risk for exterminators), so they generally cost more, between $150 and $300 on average. Other common ants, like sugar ants, will cost $150 to remove.

Size of Infestation

Widespread ant infestations in larger homes will cost more than small ones. Large infestations warrant more chemicals, time, and labor. Some exterminators will charge per square foot for larger areas.

Infestation Location

Professional exterminators sometimes charge differently depending on the location of the ant nest or infestation, with hard-to-reach areas typically costing more. Ants under your house’s foundation, for example, will cost much more than a more accessible area, like your kitchen.

Extermination inside of accessible areas can cost as low as $80, while more difficult exterminations can cost upwards of $500.

Number of Treatments

A one-time ant treatment will cost you $150 on average. But if your ant infestation is significant, you may need more than one treatment to fully eradicate the pests. In this case, exterminators will often reduce the cost of the individual treatment and bundle multiple treatments together. Four treatments per year will cost about $400 to $480. If your infestation is severe, expect to pay at least $1,400 for several periodic treatments.

FAQs About Ant Extermination

exterminator sprays kitchen baseboards
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How do I hire an ant exterminator?

Ask your friends and family for recommendations for exterminators. You can also browse online for reputable ant control companies in your area—make sure they have glowing reviews and the proper licenses and permits. 

Give them a call, and they can take a look at your infestation, determine the type of ant they’re dealing with, and give you a cost estimate. Then, you can compare quotes and choose the pro that’s right for you.

What should I consider when hiring an ant exterminator?

There are several things to consider before you hire a professional exterminator:

  • Do they have the proper licensing?

  • Are they experienced?

  • Do they use eco-friendly products?

  • Are their products pet safe?

These are questions to ask yourself when you’re on the hunt for an ant exterminator, but you can also ask the exterminator or pest control company directly.

How do I prevent ant infestations?

Exterminators can get rid of your current ant problem, but they won’t prevent ants from coming back. So it’s important to implement ant preventatives to avoid future infestations.

The primary reason ants enter your home is to find food. If they can’t find any, they won’t survive. So, the most effective way to prevent ant infestations is to clean, clean, and clean some more. 

Keep your kitchen sparkling and wash your dishes immediately (or at least give them a quick rinse and wash off leftover food). Take out your garbage and compost as often as possible and tightly seal all your kitchen containers, especially the mason jars you use to hold your sugar—sugar is gold to ants.

You can also hire a local handyperson to help you prevent future ant infestations. The handyman can seal cracks and fix leaks throughout your home, which will keep any ants from entering.

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