Side note: Ants leave bad odors, cause painful bites on humans and are a nuisance in the house as they search for food, water, and shelter.
Therefore, you’ll need to act fast and exterminate that slew of ants including Florida ghost ants or the huge red carpenter ants – have you tried ant traps.
The ant foragers are attracted to the sweet TERRO T300B bait, which they eat and drop the ‘trail pheromone’ all the way to their nest. The trail enables the worker’s ants to locate the food outside their nest. Read also: Flying Ants vs. Termites
Ant Killers: 7 Best Ant Killer (Indoor & Outdoor) 2020
The first thing you need to know when you want to buy an ant killer for your home is that they come in different forms- gel, spray, dust, granules and self-enclosed bait.
TERRO T300B Ant Baits are sweetened liquids that will attract ants in your kitchen. The ready-to-use formula will kill all the regular household ants.
Place the TERRO T300B on the floor near the ants’ trail or path, where the ants will be quickly attracted. The ants passing on this trail will come into contact with the bait and carry it into the mound.
Also, you can place the bait at a location where there are many ants. Further, the bait has a unique design that prevents it from drying out. The manufacturer outlines that the TERRO T300B Ant Bait will wipe out the ant colony in weeks upon application.
Working Mechanism: The liquid TERRO T300B bait is considered a better option as it will be readily carried by the ants back to the mound and thus kill more than the ants you can see.
The TERRO T300B acts slowly to enable the worker ant to make several trips to and from the food and thus supply the whole colony with adequate bait to kill them. However, you’ll need to remove all the food items in the kitchen on from areas easily reachable by the ants.
Read Also: Top 15 HomeMade Ant Killer Recipes
The active ingredient in MAXFORCE ANT Gel is Fipronil that kills a wide range of ants including Honey, Ghost, and Argentine ants.
Do not worry if the bait will wipe out the whole ant colony as it will be effective or about 14 days. However, you’ll need to inspect, within that time, if the gel requires reapplication.
For maximum effectiveness, you’ll need to apply the Gel in crevices and crack when you see ants going into the openings or when the ants are foraging. The ants will have to come out of their mound and eat the gel. Later, they will take the gel back to their nest and desiccant will dry their bodies.
The ant gel will slowly kill the ant colony from your kitchen. Equally, any ant or insect that runs through the kitchen or application area will carry the chemical to the others in the nest. Hence, you have to start using the MAXFORCE ANT Gel as it will kill a broad range of ants in your kitchen.
Related: Best Mole Traps
3. Amdro Home Perimeter
The Amdro Home Perimeter is a slow acting poison that prevents ants from coming into the house for up to 3 months.
Once the worker ants feed on it, it gives them enough time to transfer the bait to the rest of the ants thus eliminating the ant queen and her entire colony.
This outdoor ant killer is effective in defending ant invasion all around the perimeter of your house. It does both prevention and treatment. It kills over 15 different species of ants including fire ants, black ants, and carpenter ants.
The downside though is that it’s easy to over-pour so you must be able to determine how much is enough to put around your house. Also, it is not safe to use around animals.
The Amdro ant comes in a 24-ounce block that covers an area of 1080 linear feet. Since it’s a bait, it may take up to two weeks for the block to get rid of the entire ant colony.
It leaves no lingering smell and no residue. The granules, however, shouldn’t be used when the ground is wet. Use it only when you are sure there won’t be rain in the next 24 hours.
The active ingredient, 0.88% hydramethylnon, is a chemical pesticide that shouldn’t be used around children, pets, livestock or gardens where food is grown.
4. Advance Granular Bait
Advance Granular Bait can be used on your yard to get rid of most pests and ants such as black ants, Argentine ants, fire ants, pharaoh ants, carpenter ants.
This bait contains Abamectin B1, a slow acting chemical compound that is poisonous to the ants. It occurs naturally as a fungus that ants find irresistible. The worker ants, once they come in contact with the granules, carry them to their nest where it kills all the eggs and the adult ants in the colony within 24 hours.
Advance Granular Bait is poisonous to beneficial animals such as bees but not toxic to use around humans and pets.
The biggest disadvantage to this ant killer is that some ants ignore the granules because it is either too big for them to carry or because it is not sweet (it is protein-based). Ants prefer sweet substances; they easily get attracted to such. Also, you will need an extra device ( a spreader) to spread the granules.
You can sprinkle the granules on shrubs, trees, wall cracks, crevices and other places that ants like to hide. For best results, use it for both indoors and outdoors simultaneously.
Read Also: Bed Bugs vs. Ants (Tell Them Apart)
Raid 11717 Aerosol ant and roach killer is an indoor pyrethroid insect killer that contains Cypermethrin and imiprothrin. Cypermethrin is an effective chemical that kills ants and other insects on contact.
Raid ant and roach killer does not leave a lingering odor or oily residue on surfaces. It has a light lemon scent that is pleasant in the home.
Raid ant and roach killer is a spray that keeps your house free from ant’s invasion for up to four weeks. It responds fast on ant-invasions.
The only challenge with this spray is that it does not kill the queen ant and the colony. You hence will be forced to spray more than once to prevent re-invasion.
This aerosol spray comes in an easy-to-use canister so you don’t have to worry about touching the liquid spray. Although you should spray it away from people, food, pets, and dishes. Also, it is easy to target the infected areas, hard-to-reach places, and ants. It is recommended that you spray about 18 inches away from the insect
Aside from ants, it can also be used to kill other indoor flying and crawling insects and pests such as crickets, spiders, water bugs, roaches, silverfish among others.
TERRO T300 Liquid Ant Baits targets both indoor and outdoor ants. It kills the foragers and the queen.
The active ingredient, Borax, is a highly sweetened substance that attracts ants very fast. Once the ants consume it, they carry it to the other unsuspecting ants in the nest where they share it. And in just 3 days they are all dead.
TERRO T300 will keep your home protected from ants and other crawling and flying insects for up to 3 months. If your home is largely infested, it is advisable to place the bait in different locations.
The 6-pack comes with a pre-packaged bait that is ready to use. The bait leaves no mess and is pretty easy to use- just place the bait on the target area.
Some of the bait stations you can use are along the baseboard, on windowsills, under sinks, and under appliances. This ant killing solution is however not ideal for a heavily infested home.
Related: Best Squirrel Repellent
Safer Ant KIller Diatomaceous Earth is a natural alternative of getting rid of ants in your home. It is made of fossilized diatom powder which is naturally sourced fungus.
It has no toxic elements making it safe to use around your kids and pets. The powder may look and feel soft when you touch but has edges that are razor-sharp which pierce the ant’s exoskeleton. They then die out of dehydration.
You can use it both in your home and outside. Just make sure to apply on dry ground and dry surfaces. Use it to get rid of ants, roaches, crickets, bed bugs, centipedes, millipedes, silverfish and earwig.
Safer Brand 51702 is safe to use in vegetable and fruit gardens as it does not contain any chemicals. It has been approved by the USDA for organic gardening and it is also OMRI-listed.
Since it contains no chemicals, there is no likelihood of insects developing resistance or building an immunity against the product.
If your home is heavily infested, it may take several days or even weeks before this ant killer totally eliminates the ants.
Since it’s a powder, it will obviously leave some residue and especially if you spread a heavy coating. Use a damp towel or a filterless vacuum cleaner to clean it up.
The only downside to this ant killer is that it does not kill the ants from the source- colony and queen. So chances of re-infestation are high
Combat Max 27 Grams is an ant killer that comes in the form of a gel in a syringe. The syringe contains 27 grams of Fipronil, a high-water content poison. The high water content encourages the ants to feed on it faster and for longer.
It has a sweet smell that attracts the ants. The gel is slow acting so it gives the ant enough time to return to the colony where they will obviously share the poison and in just 3-5 days the colony and the queen and are all dead.
Combat max is safe to use around kids. It is made of a childproof safety mechanism that stops kids from opening the device and squeezing the gel.
The gel applicator is easy to use and allows you to target the ant’s hideouts- cracks and crevices. For maximum effectiveness, apply the gel directly on the ant tracks and mounds.
You can use the Combat Max 27 Grams to eliminate ants both indoors and outdoors. It’ll kill various ants like black ants, pharaoh ants, and carpenter ants. Bear in mind however that this gel can stain your tiled surfaces. It is also not ideal for large ant infestations.
Considerations in Choosing Best Ant Killer
Also, some ant killers will only kill the ants that you can see (foragers) while others will also get rid of the colony and the queen. Well, with these in mind, here are factors you should consider when choosing the best ant killer for your home.
a) The Type of Ants in your home
Just like other creatures, ants come in many different species- more than 12,000 species to be precise. Therefore they will not react similarly to a single ant killer. For instance, Advance Granular Bait may not kill the Pharaoh ants but when you use it on say fire ants or Argentine ants it works.
This is why it is advisable that you first observe the ants in your home and identify the type. Then now choose a pesticide that will get rid of that specific type. Popular types of ants found in and outside homes are carpenter ants, fire ants, Argentine ants, ghost ants, and pavements ants.
Remember also, that some ants are just too ‘clever’ and can easily identify a bait. You may find that if you use the Safer Brand 51702 granules some ants may ignore the substance but get baited very fast by Combat Max because of the very sweet smell.
b) Safety around kids and pets and Cost
You obviously want to consider the safety of your pets and family when purchasing an ant killer. Some pesticides have very toxic chemicals that can be poisonous to either your pets or your family.
Except for the natural ones like the Safer Brand 51702 Diatomaceous Earth, all of them have some level of toxicity and need to be handled with care. This is besides the fact that some ant killers come with safety mechanisms like the Combat Max.
If you have children especially toddlers, you would want to avoid pesticides like Advance Granular Bait because kids can easily play around with the granules. Sprays would be the best as opposed to ones that need to be placed on floors.
Finally, you want to consider the cost. How much are you willing to spend or rather how much can you afford? A word of advice, the cost of a pesticide does not automatically translate to its effectiveness so just choose what seems right for your needs.
d) How fast you need results and Effectiveness
Well, ultimately you want all ants gone but how fast do you want them gone? A pesticide can either be slow-acting or fast-acting.
Ant killers that work very fast are like the Raid 11717 which kills on contact and slow-acting ones are like the Advance Granular Bait. Slow-acting pesticides release a poison that takes time to kill the ants.
This is so that the ants can get enough time to return to the colony and spread the poison to the rest of the ants including the queen. And once the queen of the colony dies, her workers can only survive a few more months before they die.
A pesticide may be slow-acting but its effects last for long. A good example is the Amdro Home Perimeter which keeps your home ant-free for up to 3 months. The fast-acting ones may leave some room for a re-invasion since it does not eliminate the colony.
If you want a quick fix solution go for fast-acting pesticides but if you want a long-term solution to your ants’ invasion, go for slow-acting ones that get rid of the entire colony plus their queen.
You need to establish how effective an ant killer is before picking it, otherwise, it would be of no use. How do you establish its effectiveness without actually seeing it work? By reading the manufacturer’s product instructions as well as checking out reviews by other buyers.
Getting rid of ants shouldn’t be such a painfully time-wasting process. All you need is an effective ant killer specially formulated for the ants in your home. Use our buyer’s guide to know how to choose one that is right for you.
- Some New Research in Ant Control – University of California
- Ant control efficacy of pyrethroids and fipronil on outdoor concrete surfaces – NCBI
- Acute arsenic trioxide ant bait ingestion by toddlers. – NCBI
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