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If you have insects making a home in your house, chances are they are unwelcome. Insects have a habit of making a home wherever they can. After all, they are simply following their biological imperative to survive. Naturally, they also want to reproduce in order to propagate their species. But then the question becomes: how much does an exterminator cost for carpenter ants? Now, you may have ants, or you may even have termites. Either way, if you are noticing insects that are making a home in wood in your house, then you will have to call the exterminators before the infestation gets out of hand.
So if you’re wondering how much an exterminator would cost, thankfully you do not have to worry. We’re here to help you with all of the information you need, including how to tell the difference between termites and carpenter ants!
Without further ado, let’s talk about these insects and you.
What Are Carpenter Ants
You may be wondering this question right now. What exactly are carpenter ants? Before we discuss how much does an exterminator cost for carpenter ants, first we should talk about what these little bugs are.
Carpenter ants are so named because of their nest building habits. Basically, they will excavate wood and then form some smooth tunnels inside of them. This is basically why carpenter ants so often mistaken for termites – because of their affinity for wood! However, unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. In fact, they will only chew through the wood and tunnel through it to create their homes.
Each carpenter ant colony, when it’s mature, will have about ten to twenty thousand worker ants. Yes – tens of thousands of them! Therefore it’s not at all surprising that you will at some point see what appears to be hundreds of ants just nesting in your home. Larger colonies of carpenter ants can have up to fifty thousand ants in total, even though there’s usually only a single queen (wingless) per colony.
Carpenter ants are usually either black or red, or a combination of both. They have six legs, and are oval and segmented. They are most common in the North of the United States, but they can be found all through out. They have antennae and are often about five eighths of an inch in size.
Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation
There aren’t really any huge signs of an infestation of carpenter ants. The only real noticeable sign is the fact that there are workers that are present around your home. You may also see some swarmers along with the workers around small openings on wood surfaces such as your furniture, floors, or even your walls. A good indicator of the existence of a carpenter ant colony is if there is debris around or below the holes, signs that there were ants excavating some tunnels. If you take a look into the small holes, you will notice that the walls of the tunnels are really smooth and look as though they’ve been sandpapered down.
If you have a carpenter ant infestation, chances are the wood that they are attacking is host to a fungus. Fungus softened wood is extra attractive to these little critters. So if you have soft, decaying wood around your property – be wary. These moisture problems can further worsen the rotting wood, inviting carpenter ants to make a home. Before we answer how much does an exterminator cost for carpenter ants, let’s take a look at termites first.
What Are Termites
Termites, like carpenter ants, are usually found around wood. They’re sneaky little creatures, usually hiding and not coming out in the open. This makes termites quite difficult to detect. Because of this, they have earned the nickname silent destroyers. They have this nickname because you could be harboring a significant infestation in your home without any signs, but they’re actually already eating your house from the inside.
Sometimes, termites can be visible when they fly around your home. At times, when you see them, you may also mistake them for carpenter ants. In fact, many homeowners may even dismiss termites, thinking that they are ants instead. It’s easy to get confused – after all, carpenter ants swarm around the same time of year as well, and they also like to make a home in wood. However, when this misconception happens, homeowners may not bother taking any extermination measures against the termites. This can lead to a ton of damage as the termite infestation grows bigger and bigger.
Termites look somewhat different from ants. You can identify them by their antennae, which is straight instead of elbowed like a carpenter ant’s. They also have waists that are uniform, and equally sized wings.
Termites are relatively small, only around one centimeter long – but the way that they feed on wood can completely wreak havoc on a property. Termites don’t eat wood per se, but they feed on cellulose which is part of it. Thus, you will also find termites munching on books, insulation, paper, and more – as long as it contains cellulose. Termites aren’t picky – it doesn’t matter if your house is new or in a state of disrepair. As long as there’s cellulose, they’ll make a home.
Signs of a Termite Infestation
Unfortunately, it’s not entirely that simple to look around your property and spot a termite infestation right away. This is because majority of the termites will live in places that aren’t that easily accessible to humans, or in places that are too small to spot. Therefore, you might want to look at your interior walls, your baseboards, and your windowsills. You will also want to check any crawl spaces, and even under your floors if they are wooden.
Furthermore, you may also find termites in places such as door frames, furniture (wood), attics, and even in window frames. Termites aren’t necessarily confined to the inside of your home either. You will find them in patios, decks, trees in your yard, porches, sheds, and garages as well.
If you suspect an infestation, you can take a look at the outside of your house. Sometimes, you’ll find some clues. Termites, like carpenter ants, also look for moisture in wood. So you can take a look and see if there are any cracks or crevices around the plumbing structures outside your home. Another good sign is any damage to your home’s exterior.
If the infestation gets to the point where it’s getting mature, you will begin to see damage on the wood items in your property. You’ll see wood beginning to fall apart, looking like it’s been eaten from the inside. The wood will not look smooth. You will see termite tubes as well, which look like soil or mud in tube form. You can find these inside or outside.
How Much Does an Exterminator Cost for Carpenter Ants?
When it comes to figuring out the cost of an exterminator, the best advice that we can give is for you to look around for estimates. Most exterminator companies or pest control companies will basically offer you free estimates for their services. So if you wanted to get the best rate, you can ask around for estimates and then later on choose the best deal possible. However, to give you an idea – most single visit services from an exterminator will cost roughly one hundred fifty to three hundred dollars. However, because we’re talking about carpenter ants, well…
How much does an exterminator cost for carpenter ants? Roughly about five hundred dollars. The reason for this is that carpenter ants are much more difficult to deal with for exterminators. Carpenter ants will get into the tiniest cracks and crevices, and make tunnels in all sorts of wood. Therefore, carpenter ants require a lot more work to eradicate.
Some pest control companies will offer annual or yearly contracts, which cost anywhere from three hundred dollars to seven hundred dollars. For carpenter ants, you might have to pay more. Long term contracts are very helpful, especially in warmer climates. However, if you live in colder climes, you may not necessarily need a long term contract from an exterminator. Do note that the costs of exterminators will vary, depending on how big the property will be.
When Do I Hire an Exterminator?
There are times when you don’t really need an exterminator. Sometimes, simple methods of getting rid of ants will work well enough. There are times when your ant infestation is small enough that you can use products like ant baits or ant chalks and it will do the trick of completely eradicating the ant population in your home. In cases like this, you can absolutely celebrate and simply purchase some really cheap ant traps online. Set the bait traps out in the most heavily ant populated areas in your home and you’ll find the ants gone within a couple weeks.
However, in cases where you suspect a carpenter ant infestation, you will definitely need an exterminator. You do not want to risk leaving a carpenter ant infestation to grow on its own. Unfortunately, bait traps may not be as effective for carpenter ants. And because they excavate wood and make their nests in wooden areas in your home, this poses a risk for your home’s foundation and skeleton. Thus, the integrity of your home gets compromised. Therefore, when dealing with a carpenter ant infestation, it’s best for you to simply call an exterminator to nip the invasion in the bud. That way, you can cut the ants off before their colony matures.
Additionally, if you have what you suspect is a carpenter ant infestation, it’s best to call the exterminators sooner rather than later. This is because your carpenter ants might instead actually be termites instead. After all, they’re similar enough that you might be mistaken in identifying them.
Are There Any Extra Costs Involved?
Other than the question “How much does an exterminator cost for carpenter ants?”, another question we do sometimes get asked is are there any extra costs involved? When it comes to extermination and eradicating insect populations in your home, sometimes there may or may not be extra costs involved. However, those costs completely depend on the type of insect you are dealing with and the kind of infestation you had.
For example, in the case of a bed bug infestation, you will need to get rid of a lot of things. You will likely have to replace your mattress. And you may even need to throw out a lot of clothes and shoes and similar items if they won’t survive a round in the washing machine and dryer with high temperature on.
In terms of carpenter ants, you may indeed have extra costs to pay. It all depends, however, on how much damage the ants were able to do before you realized you had them in your home. The best people to tell you if you have other damage to fix is the exterminators themselves. They’ll let you know if the ants got anywhere significant enough to do damage to your home. If the ants managed to get into the important wooden beams in your home, you might have a significant cost in the future to repair these beams. However, if the ants only got into small areas, or perhaps into furniture, then the cost is limited. You may have to replace the piece of furniture, or you may only need to fill in holes. That’s all you really need!
Carpenter ants are unfortunately more difficult to deal with than other ant species. However, it’s fortunate that exterminators exist to help you with this problem. We hope that we answered your question on how much does an exterminator cost for carpenter ants. Please remember not to delay hiring pest control so that you don’t end up getting damage to important parts of your home. Finally, if you suspect a carpenter ant or termite infestation – call the exterminators right away!