Spring and summer are beautiful times of the year. The flowers are blooming, the trees are growing new leaves… and insects are on the prowl.
It’s the most common time of the year to have problems with ant and insect infestations. Sometimes you can clean away all the crumbs, sanitize your kitchen, and take out your trash, and ants will still find a way into your home. So what ant baits are best when normal anti-ant measures aren’t having enough effect?
outdoor (without rain)
|Harris||ants, roaches, |
water bugs, etc
|Ultrasonic||ants, bugs, mice,|
|Spectracide||ants (queens, colony)||outdoor||$6.97|
|Combat||kills ants and the|
|Maxforce||ants including |
|Hot||ants (with queens|
1. 4 Tubes Dupont Advion Ant Gel Bait w/ 1 Plunger – Editor’s Choice
This is a gel-based ant bait which comes in a pack of four tubes. Each tube has thirty grams of the gel. It’s optimized for use in industrial, commercial, and residential areas. The gel is one of the best overall pest controls on the market for ants. It will kill nineteen common species of ant with ease.
2. Harris Boric Acid Roach and Silverfish Killer Powder – Amazon’s Choice
This ant bait is a sixteen-ounce powder. As long as it’s kept dry, it can continue to kill insects for weeks afterward. It’s optimized for the killing of multiple insects rather than just ants, making it ideal if you have multiple infestations. Other targeted insects are waterbugs, silverfish, palmetto bugs, and roaches.
3. 2018 New Ultrasonic Pest Repeller – Modern Ant Repellent
This is the newest model of the Ultrasonic Pest Control Repeller. It contains an upgraded power chip which increases its pest-reducing power. It’s also safe for use around children and pets. No insect bodies are left behind, leaving you with a hassle-free lack of infestation.
4. Spectracide Ant Shield Outdoor Stakes
These stakes are available in multi-packs and optimized for the killing of ants through outdoor bait stations. Unlike the other previously mentioned baits, this one does kill the colony. The scout ants bring the bait back to the colony, where the ants feed on it and then die. The baits begin killing within hours, so you don’t have to wait to see results. The stakes are also effective for up to three months.
5. Roach Busters Non-Toxic Eco-Friendly Cockroach Traps – Child/Weather Resistant
This product comes with an 11-pack of insect traps. Though primarily designed for roach infestations, the traps will also work on ant infestations, spiders, and other problematic insects. The traps work through the use of glue.
6. Combat Max Outdoor and Indoor Ant Killing Gel
Each child-resistant package contains twenty-seven grams of gel. The gel leaves little to no mess and has a high water content, which encourages the ants to feed faster. Results begin to show within three to five days after the gel’s application. The bait kills the entire colony of ants when the ants bring it back to their colony.
7. Terro 2 Ounce Liquid Ant Killer
This is a twelve-pack of liquid ant killer, each tube containing two ounces. It’s designed to both attract and kill all common species of household ants. The bait is brought back to the colony, where the colony eats it and then dies off.
8. Maxforce Carpenter Ant Bait Gel
Pest control will be apparent within three to five days after the ant eats the gel. You shouldn’t place the gel in areas that have previously been sprayed by insecticides, as ants might smell the insecticide and avoid the area. It’s most effective when placed in areas where you see frequent ant activity. Ants bring the bait back to their colonies, which destroys the other workers and the queens.
9. Hot Shot MaxAttrax 2040W Ant Bait
Ants are killed 24 hours after consuming the bait. The bait will last for up to three months, although in cases of severe infestation, the traps will need to be replaced sooner. Most common species of household ants are killed.
10. Terror 1806 Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits
These ant baits are optimized for outdoor use. The package comes with six bait stations, each of which has one ounce of bait. All common household ants are attracted and killed from the outside before they have a chance to reach the house. Worker ants are able to transport the poison to the colony and kill the queen.
Ant Baits Buyer’s Guide
With so many options on the market, narrowing down your ideal ant bait can seem overwhelming. We’ll walk you through the important questions you need to answer, along with the features you might find in different ant baits.
Is your problem indoors or outdoors?
Sometimes, baits are specifically made for outdoor use. These baits will usually come with anchoring stakes for you to stick into the ground, allowing the bait station to remain stable even in high winds. An outdoor bait won’t work if the ants are already in your house; it’s a preemptive measure if you’re seeing a lot of activity in your yard or garden.
When ants are already in your house, you’ll need to get a bait to use indoors. You’ll also need to be sure the bait is safe for your specific circumstances, which brings us to the next question.
Do you have pets or young children?
Some ant baits use pesticides that aren’t safe to be ingested. These pesticide traps shouldn’t be used in your kitchen or any place food is stored. If the bait is exposed to the air or otherwise accessible by small children or pets, it can be dangerous to them.
That said, this doesn’t mean that any pesticide bait is impossible for you to use. Some baits and bait stations come with specific designs that keep pets and children from accessing them. Just make sure that your preferred bait is both child and pet resistant.
Do you need to kill an entire infestation?
There’s a difference between a colony-wide problem versus just a few ants here and there. It’s common to have colony-wide problems when scout ants have found your food and left trails of pheromones to the rest of the colony. Conversely, if you’re only seeing scouts, you might want to get rid of them so that the rest of the colony won’t follow them.
If you have a full-blown colony-wide infestation, you’ll want to use time-delay baits. The worker ants will then bring the bait back to the heart of the colony, where it will be consumed by the other workers as well as the queen. When the queen dies, the colony will cease to reproduce. The other worker ants will die off as they consume the poison.
Do you prefer no-kill solutions to ant problems?
Certain ant repellents do just that: repel the ants. They don’t involve bait which kills the colony or killing traps such as glue traps. These repellents tend to use ultrasonic and electromagnetic frequencies to keep away insects of all kinds. That said, they shouldn’t be used when you have fish or small pets like mice or gerbils.
What form do you want your bait to take?
The three main forms of baits are these:
- Plastic-enclosed baits
- Gel and liquid baits
- Powder baits
Gel, liquid, and powder baits all need to be manually applied to the area of infestation or any other frequently trafficked area. They can also be applied to the corners of rooms or along baseboards, as well as around the edges of infested electrical outlets. Plastic-enclosed baits just need to be laid out as they are. They can’t be placed in as many areas as gels and powders, though.
What kind of ants are you having a problem with?
Most baits are designed to attract a large variety of different ants that you’ll commonly find in your household. The one ant species you might have trouble with is the carpenter ant. Carpenter ants consume wood rather than the sugars that most other ants eat, so some baits won’t work on them.
If you have a problem with carpenter ants, you’ll want to get a moisture-based bait that specifically states it attracts carpenter ants.
Do you need to get rid of other insects as well?
Are you only having problems with ants? Are there other insects in your home such as cockroaches or beetles? What about spiders?
Some ant baits are only made to attract ants, while others are made for the killing or repelling of multiple species of insect. If you’re having problems with multiple types of insects, it makes sense to buy a multi-insect bait than to buy multiple baits for the different issues.
How quickly do you need to take care of the infestation?
Different baits take different amounts of time to become effective. Some baits start to kill the ants in twenty-four hours or less. Others can take between three days and one week to show an effect. Meanwhile, ultrasonic repellents might take several weeks to show full effectiveness.
Regardless of the type and size of the infestation, there is an ant bait that can help. Follow the guidelines in the buyer’s guide to understand what you need to look for when you shop. When you understand your needs, it’s far easier to make an informed decision that fits your unique circumstances.