Have you noticed a collection of ants inside or outside your home? Your natural reaction is probably to try to get rid of them yourself before you call an exterminator. Indoor and outdoor ant killers can help you remove an existing problem and prevent future infestations.
In our top 10 list, you'll find a variety of indoor and outdoor ant killers. Our number one choice, Ortho Home Defense, can be applied indoors and outdoors and lasts for up to a year; plus, it comes with an easy spray-type application. Be sure to also check out our buying guide for tips on how to select an ant killer for your pest problem, including how to pick something pet- and child-safe. Keep reading to learn more!
Here's our top 10 list of the best ant killers. It's full of indoor, outdoor, and dual-purpose options. You'll also find a variety of sprays, granules, and gels.
Home Defense Insect Killer
Liquid Ant Baits
Ant Block Granule
Ant and Crawling Insect Killer
Carpenter Ant Killer
Ant Killer Metal Bait Stations
Ant Killer Spray
Liquid Ant Bait Stakes
Insect and Pest Control
Ant Killing Gel
Kills and Prevents for Up to 12 Months
Slowly Kills Ant Colonies and Large Infestations
Kills 25 Various Ant Species
A Natural Way to Kill Ants
Gets Rid of Carpenter Ants and Termites
Starts Killing Ants Within 24 Hours
Quick-Kill Eco-Friendly Formula
Bait Stations for Outdoor Use
Kills Ants With Peppermint Oil
Can Go Into Cracks and Crevices
|Type||Spray||Bait stations||Granule bait||Spray||Spray||Bait stations||Spray||Liquid stakes||Spray||Gel|
|Longevity||1 year||3 months||3 months||4 weeks||1 month||Not provided||N/A||Not provided||N/A||Not provided|
When choosing an ant killer, you'll want to determine the size and scope of the problem. Consider the ant species and whether the problem is indoors or outdoors. If you have pets or children, you'll also want to think about their safety. And you should evaluate the different types of ant killers and extra features.
Determine whether you have an active infestation in your home. If you notice a lot of ants in a specific area, such as the kitchen cabinets or between outside cracks and small openings, you may need a product that kills an entire ant colony. These products use bait that ants share and that slowly kill off the colony, including the queen. Some of these products can take up to two weeks to work.
If you’re noticing just a few ants here and there, you can probably get away with a spray that kills ants on contact and is not necessarily preventative. You may also want to use preventative products that can keep ants from coming into your home.
Preventative ant killers are usually placed around the perimeter of your home and sometimes sprayed on your lawn. Some of these products can work for up to three months and may repel other types of insects like crickets and spiders.
Keep the weather in mind when you're choosing your ant killer. Some are resistant to rain and moisture and are suitable for outdoor use. Meanwhile, for indoor use, you'll want to look for specific ant killers made for that, which may not stand up as well to moisture.
Furthermore, you should try to identify the ants bothering you. Since there are different types of ants, you may need a specific ant killer targeted at the ones haunting your home. Check the labels to see what types of ants the ant killer helps control and get rid of.
If your home appears to have a large infestation or one that doesn’t respond to repeated DIY attempts, you may need to call a professional pest control company. They can usually locate the nest and eradicate the problem at the source. Plus, they can help you identify what type of ant is invading your home or outdoor space.
Many ant killers contain chemicals that are harmful or irritating to animals and humans. Think about where your pets and children frequently go, both inside and outside your home.
For instance, if you have a dog that stays indoors and only uses the backyard, you can probably get away with using an ant killer with toxic chemicals around the front perimeter of your home. You can also elect to use an ant killer with non-toxic chemicals, although it might not be as effective.
Ant killers that use peppermint oil or d-limonene are usually safe for pets and kids. Check labels for the ingredients or check pet stores and brands for pet-safe alternatives. You can also buy peppermint oil and make your own solution by mixing it with water or applying pure peppermint oil to your home’s baseboards and near doors and windows.
Ants don't like the smell of peppermint oil, thus it will repel them. Just keep in mind that sometimes natural or non-toxic alternatives don't work as effectively or as fast as those with toxic chemicals or irritants, such as indoxacarb and deltamethrin. And, peppermint oil should not be ingested directly by pets, as it can create upset stomachs.
Preventative products and those that kill off entire colonies come in the form of bait stations, pure bait, and granules and powders. Bait stations work similarly to a mousetrap. The bait is within a small container that you open and the ants are attracted to the bait within the station.
Ants take the bait back to their colony and spread it further. You can place bait stations indoors or outdoors and it’s easier to keep pets and children away from them.
Pure bait requires you to spread it on a surface or within a crack or crevice. It usually comes in gel form. You can easily squeeze the gel into cracks and wait for it to kill off the colony before you seal it up to prevent future infestations. You can also spread gel in cabinets or on pieces of cardboard to attract ants and eradicate colonies.
Granules and powders are typically spread where ant hills exist or along the perimeter of homes. This can leave an unsightly appearance until the powder and granules go away and there’s the risk that pets and children will pick them up or eat them. However, granules and powders are easy to apply and can last for months.
Sprays can be used indoors and outdoors, on surfaces, and within crevices. Some only kill on contact while others kill and work as a preventative. Sprays or granules for your lawn are usually widespread, preventative insect killers and work well for infestations within rock beds or the ground that you don’t want to migrate toward your home.
Look at the expiration date or expected shelf life of ant killers. Some bait stations and gels have tabs that can keep the bait fresh for longer. Concentrates that you dilute with water into a spray can also be more potent and have a longer shelf life.
Granules and powders or dust can come in containers with shakers that make the application process easier. Some bait gels also have syringes that can help guide your application in tight crevices or gaps in the exterior of your home along the foundation, patios, and steps.
Some bait stations come in the form of stakes for your yard or garden areas. This can be a more convenient way to set traps for ant infestations in these locations.
Although an ant problem isn't necessarily due to a dirty environment, taking some preventative steps can help. First, try to remove any food or water sources that ants will be attracted to. Be sure to not leave food out in kitchens or bedrooms. Seal any food in air-tight containers and use chip clips to seal packaging.
If you have gaps around doors and windows, you can also close them with caulk and other sealant products. If you see ant activity, follow the trail to check where the nest might be. You may be able to locate the nest, spray it, and seal up any cracks or crevices from which the ants are coming through.
With just honey and borax, you can create your own ant killer! Check out this video by Greg the Gardener to see how. It's very simple and you can apply it where needed. It can cause irritation and sickness in humans and pets, however, so use it with caution.
Warmer weather often means more pesky bugs and pests. From mosquitoes to ticks, here are some ideas to keep you free of all types of insects.
Now that you know more about ants than you would like, it's time to choose the right ant killer for your unwanted house guests. First, see if you can identify what type of ants are invading your home and whether you think it's a full-blown infestation. Determine whether you need an indoor, outdoor, or dual-purpose product.
Think about the type of ant killer that will work best in the application area, taking into account any safety concerns for pets and children. Be sure to check labels for added features and shelf life. Before long, you'll be handing those uninvited guests their eviction notice!
Author: Helen Akers
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