Baking Soda: The Non-Toxic Way to Get Rid of AntsFebruary 19, 2022
Best Homemade Ant KillerFebruary 19, 2022
If you have an ant infestation in your home, it’s important to find an effective ant killer as soon as possible. The best products will not only kill the visible ants, they’ll also get back to the queen where they can eliminate the whole colony.
Choosing an Ant Killer
The first step in choosing the best ant killer for your needs is identifying the type of ant you’re dealing with. Choosing a successful ant killer is impossible if you misdiagnose your pest. It’s often best to seek professional help when you need an ant control solution because an experienced exterminator can easily pinpoint the type of ant that you’re dealing with. Some common ants in the United States include:
- Carpenter ants: Black, brown, or orange in color, these ants are known for their habit of tunneling into the wood. You’ll find small piles of sawdust around the nests they’ve created in your home.
- Acrobat ants: Red, black, or brown in hue, these ants walk with their abdomens held high when they’re disturbed. They nest in damp or rotten wood.
- Fire ants: Fire ants are reddish-brown in color and live in dirt mounds. They have stingers they will readily use on people when disturbed.
- Tawny crazy ants: Tawny crazy ants are positioned to soon outnumber fire ants in Texas as the top ant invader. They’re golden-brown to reddish-brown in color and often nest around electrical work, potentially damaging the wiring in your home.
Determine what kind of ant you’re dealing with first, so you can purchase specialized ant killers where available.
Common Problems with Indoor Ant Killers
Natural remedies like vinegar and water used to disrupt an ant trail or cayenne pepper or lemons near a nest may offer moderate relief by altering the ants’ behavior temporarily. However, these substances are not ant killers. In some cases, these remedies can just disturb the colony enough to make it split, worsening your problem.
Ant killers are only effective when you take steps to prevent a future infestation. If your home continues to provide a welcoming haven for these insects, you will probably battle them again in the future. Discourage ants in your home by:
- Keep your kitchen clean and free of foodstuffs standing out.
- Rinsing food containers of residue before putting them in the trash or recycling.
- Keeping food in airtight containers.
- Moving wet or rotting wood and woodpiles away from the house.
- Sealing openings that ants can enter through.
Finding the Most Effective Ant Killer
There are many products on the market to help you target an ant infestation. A single ant mound can contain up to 200,000 ants, so it’s important to take a broad approach to any ant problems in or around your home. The primary goal of any ant killer is to eliminate the queen and wipe out the colony. Some options to consider include:
- Self-Contained Baits: Self-contained ant baits placed near the insects’ foraging trails are effective because they act as an enticing source of food that ants will take back to the nest. From there, the ants will spread the bait to others in the colony, including the queen. Ant bait helps you reach ants in their secluded and often difficult-to-find homes. Self-contained bait stations are a clean and easy way to put bait out.
- Sprays: Sprays kills the ants you can see and offer a short-term solution to an ant problem. If you have a lot of visible ants, a spray will get rid of them, though not the nest. Some sprays leave a residue that will continue to kill ants in that area for up to four weeks. Make sure you ventilate the area well before using a toxic ant spray.
- Granules: Granular ant baits can be sprinkled around the home. Depending on the active ingredient, these can kill a colony within 24 hours after the bait is taken back to the nest.
- Diatomaceous earth: A natural ant killer, diatomaceous earth is completely eco-friendly and non-toxic to humans. The powdery substance contains tiny sharp edges that damage the ant’s exoskeleton and cause it to dry out. This only works on ants that come into physical contact with it.
- Gels: Gels are a type of ant bait that you can place along trails using a syringe. The gel isn’t as easy to conceal as bait in a self-contained bait station, so use this type of product in an area that’s out of the reach to pets and children.
The Best Products to Kill Ants
Try some of these popular products for your ant infestation.
Advance Granular Carpenter Ant Bait
This product is an effective solution for carpenter ants, and the biodegradable formula makes it a perfect pick for use inside the home. The bait features a GABA inhibitor which begins to disrupt the insect’s nervous system in 24 hours. This gives the ant time to take the bait back to the nest so it’s distributed among the colony, wiping out your infestation quickly. This is not for use in an area that’s been treated with another insecticide, as this will make the bait undesirable. Though formulated for carpenter ants, this can work with other ant species as well.
TERRO Ant Killer Liquid Ant Baits
These liquid bait stations contain liquid borax that kills the ants in two to three days. This provides time for the ants to spread the bait among the colony. These stations are neat and easy to set out and later dispose of.
Raid Ant and Roach Killer
Effective against small invasions, this is one of the best spray products available. It doesn’t have a lingering odor and kills pests on contact and for up to four weeks after.
Combat Max Any Killing Gel
This gel comes in a syringe and contains Fipronil, which kills ants in three to five days. The gel is easy to apply in small cracks, so you can place a dab of the poison anywhere it’s needed.
While these killers may work on small infestations, larger colonies usually require an expert. A professional pest control treatment is best if the problem is severe.