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Is it worth getting an exterminator for ants?

Sep 28, 2021

A close-up of numerous black ants in a colony crawling across a surface in a home.


When you discover ants in your home, you may think a DIY approach to ant extermination is the easiest option. However, an ant problem can get out of hand very quickly, so it’s important to know when to call in the professionals. A couple of ants may be nothing to worry about, but an ant infestation can pose many dangers to your home and health risks to your family.


Read on to learn more about ants, ant extermination, and if it’s worthwhile to get a professional exterminator for ants. 

How Ant Infestations Happen Quickly

The truth is, ants can live practically anywhere: in the yard, on the balcony or deck, in your shrubbery and garden beds, etc. Typically with ants, when you see one, there are likely hundreds more since they live in colonies.


Leaving food out on the counter, not properly storing food in containers, failing to clean up crumbs or spills—especially food items with a high sugar content like juices or sodas—can all attract ants into your home. 


Alternatively, it could be that your home is simply accessible. If you have a brickwork foundation with holes in it or regularly open doors and windows, it’s easy for ants to get inside and start building a home. Ants love mild to warm temperatures, so if your home is providing necessary qualities of life—food, water, and shelter—then ants may want to move right in.

DIY Ant Extermination

When it comes to ant extermination, there are many tips and tricks homeowners follow in an attempt to handle the issue themselves. Cinnamon, peppermint, cloves, and even chalk lines are all common suggestions as DIY ant repellents, but they aren’t very fruitful. 


Here are four other common DIY ant extermination ideas:


  • Boric acid and powdered sugar trap. Combine three parts powdered sugar with one part boric acid for a DIY ant trap. The sugar acts as a lure while the boric acid kills the ants after ingesting. Making it more of a liquid by watering the mixture down is best since ants prefer to drink their food. Warning: boric acid is toxic for children and house pets.

  • Baking soda and powdered sugar trap. This any trap is often used by homeowners hoping for a child-and pet-safe ant trap. The sugar is meant to attract ants while the baking soda kills them, but it's not as successful as professional ant extermination.

  • Spray ants with a soap and water mixture. Mix dish soap, water, and oil in a spray bottle and apply directly on ants. Soap helps destroy the scent left by ants to prevent more from following.


While some DIY pest control can help, it won’t resolve the issue if you don’t kill the whole colony or prevent the ants from getting inside in the first place.  

Is it Worth Getting an Exterminator for Ants?

Professional ant extermination has many benefits, including the following:


  • Pest identification. Different baits and chemicals are only effective on certain pests. A professional exterminator will be able to properly identify what type of ant you have bothering your home so they can set the right type of trap.
  • Source discovery. Proper ant extermination is dependent upon finding the source of the infestation. Professional pest extermination will locate the heart of the infestation and resolve the issue, whether that's plugging holes in the foundation or digging out the pest's nest.
  • Health. A professional exterminator knows what's dangerous and what's harmless when it comes to traps and chemicals. There is less risk involved when a professional decides where to place traps and how much chemicals ought to be used.
  • Damage control. Quick, effective pest control shouldn't damage your home or landscaping. It also shouldn't pose a threat to your children or pets. A professional pest control company will keep the effects of ant extermination minimal.

When to Call a Professional

If you’ve tried the DIY ant extermination and kept up with cleaning food spills and crumbs but are still dealing with an ant problem, it’s time to call a professional. Keeping ants away often takes an expert’s touch. Contact CroppMetcalfe to get rid of your ant problem once and for all.


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