What are the best Ant killers available to buy?

 

Generally found in the kitchen, pantry or backyard, ants are one of the most common pests found in America. And, whilst they may look unassuming when trailing one behind each other outside, when an army of ant's march into your home they can cause stress and effect our standards of living.

Ants have lots of natural predators, but bar borrowing a hungry ant eater, an easier method of eradication is to invest in some ant killer. From ant sprays to self-enclosed bait, gel, traps or dust here are our top tips for the best ant killers.

There are a variety of ant killers for you to try, but their success depends on the type of ant you are targeting, the environment you are placing it in and the level of infestation that has occurred.

Some people prefer to use bait, which is a slow-acting insecticide which has the ability to kill off large quantities of ants over time. This method relies on an ant's social nature, in order for it to be carried off back to the colony where it can poison both larvae and Queen. Ant sprays are also popular as they can kill an ant on contact as does dust, which interferes with the operation of an ant's nervous system.

Below we will look at the best ant killer products currently available to buy, look at how they work and how they can benefit you.

What is the best ant killer on the market?

Just like most things, when it comes to ant killer, one size does not fit all. Some ant killers, such as traps and sprays are good at deterring and killing the ants that you can see but won't wipe out an entire colony.

Other ant killing solutions, such as bait, are good long-term options but take time in order to work. Some can only be used indoors, whilst others are toxic and dangerous to pets and children.

How does ant killer work?

A high-quality ant killer should stop ants in their tracks whilst eliminating the queen and the colony. Certain methods may merely repel ants whilst others will only kill the ants you can see. In order to prevent re-infestation from occurring you need to target the entire nest. For this we would recommend bait.

How to make natural ant killer

If you want to try making your own ant killer, but want something natural and child and pet friendly, then we have a tried and tested recipe for you to use.

Fill a spray bottle with two cups of white vinegar and two tablespoons of both washing up liquid and baking soda. Once the foam has settled, top the remainder of the bottle up with warm water before giving the mixture a shake.

Once made, this natural ant killer can be sprayed near ant colonies and on their scent trails both indoors and out, as it neutralizes the natural pheromones that ants secrete in which to communicate.

How to make ant killer using borax

It is simple to purchase chemically mixed ant killer online, but it is equally as easy to make it at home, as chances are you will already have the key ingredient (borax), stored in your pantry or cleaning closet.

Borax is mainly found in laundry products such as detergents as well as some hand soaps and toothpaste. Often known as sodium borate this alkaline, mineral salt is powdery white in appearance.

Start by mixing double the amount of borax to sugar in a jar of warm water and shaking it well. You can then sprinkle the home-made ant killer anywhere you suspect that ants may be entering your home or on known nests. The ants will pick up this poisonous concoction and take it back to the colony for the larvae to eat. You should also place cotton wool balls soaked in this mixture on identified ant trails as this will make it easier for them to find.

It is important to note that whilst borax is safe to use, it is can be dangerous if ingested by pets and children. Therefore, you should take care to use it responsibly.

How to make boric acid ant killer

For a cost-effective solution to getting rid of ants, you could try using boric acid as an ant killer. Just like the pre-purchased poisons, boric acid targets an ant's sensory organs as well as their exoskeletons.
For this recipe, you only need a small amount of boric acid for it be effective. You want to add it to food sources in the hope they will take it back to their nest to share with their queen. If you add too much boric acid, you could end up wiping the ant out before it marches back outside.

The type of bait used is just as crucial to the success of the ant killer as the boric acid is itself. Choose something that will be tantalizing to ants and which contains plenty of sugar. We recommend, honey, syrup or peanut butter. You should then place these premade baits around any known ant access points of your property.

Just like borax, you should be careful about using this homemade ant killer liberally around animals and kids, as its toxic nature can be harmful.

Best ant killer reviews

For ease, most people prefer to head online to order an ant killer that has proven results. Big named pest control brands such as Terro and Raid dominate this area and for good reason.

Both manufactures produce a wide variety of ant killer products, designed to capture and get rid of annoying ants. Whether you want to lay a trap, squirt a spray or wait for bait to take effect, we highly recommend using Raid and Terro ant killer products.

(1) Terro Liquid Ant Killer Baits

These liquid ant bait stations can be placed anywhere indoors and act as a trap for ants to enter, consume and return to their nest. The liquid ant bait stations do not leak and are designed to prevent the bait from drying out.

The main ingredient in the bait is boric acid, which is derived from borax. Borax is a pesticide approved by the EPA for general use and is a moderately toxic substance and depending on the size of the ant infestation, may only take up two weeks to control.

Pros

  • This bait works on a variety of different types of ant
  • It come as a liquid bait that is easy to administer
  • Can be used both indoors and outdoors
  • Packaging means this bait does not leak
  • Highly effective taking only a matter of weeks to kill a colony
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • This product is not safe to use around children and pets
  • Can take a few weeks to notice a difference
  • Can leave you with dead ants scattered throughout your house
  • Ants can become wise to this bait and start to avoid it


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(2) Terro Ant Killer Spray

Best long-lasting ant spray

Terro ant killer spray can be used both indoors and out and can kill ants in a matter of minutes. This spray can kill ants on contact whilst its residue mist means that it continues to exterminate for up to 6 weeks, targeting those that are out of sight.

Although powerful this ant killer does pong and the scent itself can be harmful to pets.

Pros

  • Kills ants fast
  • Continues to work for up to 6 weeks
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Unsafe to use around pets
  • Strong smelling scent
  • Does not come with a straw applicator


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(3) Terro Ant Killer Dust

Best for being effective

This bottle has a cap that allows homeowners to use it as a shaker or to draw out measured amounts of the ant killer through a larger opening. This waterproof dust works by setting up a barrier in places where ants are known to wander and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
This dust has the ability to work on all types of ant, including carpenter ants, and not only works on contact but for up to 8 months post application.

Pros

  • Can be used on a variety of different types of ant
  • Kills on contact and continues to be effective for up to 8 months
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Can stain as leaves a white waterproof residue


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Related Terro killer questions:

How long does it take Terro to kill an ant colony?

Depending on which methods you choose, most Terro products can kill an individual ant within 48 hours. It takes longer to penetrate the rest of the nest – including the larvae and queen – as the ants need to forage it and carry it back before it becomes effective.

Depending on the size of the colony, a small ant's nest can be eradicated within a couple of days, whilst a larger one could take up to a week.

Is Terro Ant Killer toxic to humans and pets?

The ingredients in Terro products have a low toxicity and are unlikely to harm either you or your pet, although we would advise that you use these products carefully.

If the ingredients are ingested, we would recommend visiting you doctor or vet in case you experience a reaction to the borax. Signs of poisoning may include vomiting, excessive drooling, pale gums and lethargy.

Will Terro kill flies?

Terro product can kill flies, but we would recommend that you buy a specific fly killer product such as the Terro Fly Trap or Terro Fly Paper, rather than use the products mentioned in this article, as they are designed to target ants.

(1) Raid Max Double Control Ant Killer Bait

There are 8 tablet baits in this box of Raid Max, which claims that its dual technology can kill ants for up to 3 months. Designed to be placed by walls and areas of easy access, it attracts ants to feed and take back to their nest.

The potent ingredient in this poison is Avermectin B1 which works in a similar way to other baits and is easily digested.

Pros

  • Can continue to kill ants for up to 3 months
  • Liquid bait that is easy to administer and store
  • Highly effective
  • Child resistant and tamper proof

Cons

  • Ants can become wise to this bait and start to avoid
  • Adhesive backing often doesn't stick


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(2) Raid Ant Killer Spray

Raid ant spray is extremely easy to use and acts as both a contact killer and residual spray lasting for up to four weeks. And, the great thing about these cans are that they target other pest insects too.

This spray can be used throughout your house, as well as outdoors, and is lemon scented so leaves no lingering odors. But be warned, most of the ingredients used have not been updated for a while and are therefore still highly toxic. Care should be taken when applying this spray and you should not use it if you have children or animals in or around your property.

Pros

  • Cost effective and can target more than one insect
  • Kills ants fast
  • Continues to work for up to 4 weeks
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Highly toxic
  • Leaves a thin layer of residue when applied
  • Does not come with a straw applicator


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Related Raid killer questions:

How long does it take Raid to kill an ant colony?

Raid Ant Killers attacks ants by killing both on contact and for up to two weeks post application. These easy-to-use products allow easy application to the area's ants may be infesting.

Just like Terro products, their effectiveness depends on the size of the colony. A small ant's nest can be wiped out within a couple of days, whereas a larger colony could take up to a week. You should resist the urge to use both spray and bait, as rather than speeding up the process all it will do is kill the worker ants who are travelling to the bait, preventing them from carrying it back.

Is Raid Ant Killer toxic to humans and pets?

Like any product that contains chemicals, you should be careful not to inhale or ingest any of the Raid ant killer products. It not only causes irritation to your nose, eyes and throat but could potentially cause internal damage.

We therefore recommend that you use Raid responsibly, making sure you not spill any on on yourself and keeping it well out of reach from pets and children. You should also wash your hands with soap and water immediately after usage.

Will Raid kill flies?

There are a number of Raid products designed specifically for targeting flies. These include Raid Flying Insect Killer, Raid Window Fly Trap and Raid Fly Ribbon to name but a few.

What is the best fire ant killer for the yard?

Most ants are not aggressive; however, step on a red imported fire ant or walk too close to their mound and you'll soon know about it. These dark red ants have the ability to inflict a nasty bite and painful sting, often said to be worse than a honeybee.

We would strongly advise that you stay away from a red ant's nest, if you want to remain sting free but if they start to invade your space then you will need to apply some ant dust or spray in the areas you know they are infiltrating.

Our top tips for fire ant killers are either the Siesta Fire Ant Bait or the Ortho Orthene Fire Ant Killer. Both of these products are highly toxic so shouldn't be used around animals or children. Extreme care should also be taken when applying, using gloves and long sleeves clothes wherever possible.

(1) Siesta Fire Ant Bait

The active ingredient (metaflumizone) in this ant bait specifically targets and control fire ants. This active ingredient is long lasting and has fast control over imported and native fire ants whilst also targeting black and other species of ant.

Siesta is recommended to be applied when temperatures are above 60 degrees in the early morning or late afternoon as this is when fire ants are at their most active. This bait is not for outdoor use as it will not work in wet conditions.

Pros

  • Specifically targets Imported Red Fire Ants
  • Kills ants within 72 hours
  • Highly effective

Cons

  • Can not be used in wet weather conditions

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(2) Ortho Orthene Fire Ant Killer

This red ant killer is a surface dust that you put straight on to their mound. Able to start killing within a couple of hours, it is able to get to the queen within around 3 days.

This product is so powerful that it keeps working for 6 months post application, so you do not have to worry about new ants appearing. Incredibly toxic, you need to be careful when applying that you do not irritate your skin and watch out for nearby foliage which can be affected by the ant killing process.

Pros

  • Specifically targets Imported Red Fire Ants
  • Kills ants within 72 hours
  • Long lasting for up to 6 months
  • No need to pre-mix any ingredients

Cons

  • Need to be applied directly to the Fire Ant mound
  • Product tricky to apply
  • Can cause skin irritations and kill nearby plants


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Summary

Although most species of ant are harmless, it is never enjoyable to share a picnic with them, let alone giving them access into your pantry or property. Highly sociable insects, they march in large armies foraging for sweet, sickly food to share with their friends and their queen. Good levels of hygiene and home maintenance will prevent them from finding a route inside, but if the damage is already done and they have crossed enemy lines, it is time to head into battle.

There are loads of great ant killer products on the market today, that are highly effective in wiping large colonies out. Alternatively, you could choose to make your own.

If, however, an ant infestation starts to get out of control, you should seek some expert advice from a pest control exterminator.

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