The Portland and Vancouver area is crawling with ants already. Coming out of a very cold winter, many thought that the ants would be mild this year, but they are as strong as ever. If you are one of the homes that has been invaded already, you might be wondering how much it costs to get rid of them.
Most people with Carpenter Ants or Sugar Ants (also called “soil ants”) will try the DYI approach first. We rarely go to a home that doesn’t have failed baits or sprays laying around. Most commonly we find a product called “Terro Ant Bait” (approximately $5.00), Ortho Home Defense (approximately $20.00) and/or a can of Raid (approximately $5.00). Comparing the cost of over-the-counter products to a full blown treatment from a pest control professional might seem like a good deal at first, but at the end of the day, results are what matter.
Let’s start with Sugar Ants. These are a nuisance pest and do not do any actual structural damage to your home. Still, they are annoying and can swarm food left behind and leave an army of trails around the house. In my opinion, Terro Ant Bait just doesn’t get the job done and the other commonly used products (Ortho and Raid) can actually make the problem worse! Any spray that you buy from the store is likely going to have a repellent in them. Applying repellents to Sugar Ants is going to be a bit counterproductive. As I have mentioned in several other blog posts, repellents have the adverse effect of creating a condition called “budding” within the ant colony. Essentially, the queen can sense the repellent and goes into survival mode, reproducing at a faster rate and sending out satellite colonies to different areas of the home. So, trying to save some money and taking care of it on your own can actually cost you more in the long run.
Moving on to Carpenter Ants. This would be a wood destroying pest and is the most common structural damaging pest that we have in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area. We have seen plenty of homes with significant damage caused by Carpenter Ants, without the customer even knowing that they had an infestation. If you do know that you have Carpenter Ants in or around your home, it is important that you address it quickly. Over the counter products can technically kill Carpenter Ants, but how can you be sure that you have destroyed the colony and removed the threat? You might be able to knock them back enough with sprays and baits, but whether or not you got all of them will still be up in the air. A pest control exterminator can use products that a home owner does not have access to and do a treatment that is consistent with best practices within the industry, ensuring the best results.
So how much does it cost to just hire a pest control company to get rid of your ants? At New Leaf Pest Control, we have very simple pricing that we have designed to cover almost any situation. We have a basic starter treatment at $98 for either sugar ants or carpenter ants. This would cover an interior or exterior treatment and is designed to target smaller infestations of ants. For situations that call for more than just a basic treatment, we have whole home treatments available that cover an interior and exterior treatment. These treatments typically range between $198 and $249 and often come with a free follow-up.
So, if you are on a budget and are weighing the costs of taking care of ant situation yourself or having an exterminator handle it for you, I hope this information will be useful to you.