There’s nothing worse than realizing you have an ant infestation. They can sneak through even the tiniest openings in your home and make a beeline for your pantry or kitchen cabinets along with hundreds or even thousands of their friends. They can be surprisingly tricky to get rid of too, especially if you suddenly find yourself in the grips of a major infestation. Luckily, there are a ton of helpful and effective products on the market to kill ants and other pests. We’ve reviewed 10 of the best ant killers on this list, from traditional sprays to innovative devices that use ultrasonic frequencies to scare away ants and other pests. Take a look!
How to choose the best ant killers
What type of ants do you have?
Although we often think of ants as being all the same, there are actually thousands of different species and the type of ants your home is infested with will affect the kind of treatment option you should use. Most ants are attracted to one of two things: grease or sugar. You’ll need to get an ant killer that matches your ants’ tastes, otherwise they won’t be drawn to the ant killer to ingest it. To figure out what kind of ants are in your home, place two small dishes in a room: one containing a sugary, sweet substance, and the other containing a grease-based substance. Check back to see which one your ants are most interested in to determine which ant killer you should invest in.
Do you need indoor or outdoor treatment?
While many ant killers are designed for both indoor and outdoor use, some are specialized for just one area and shouldn’t be used indiscriminately around your home and property. Many outdoor ant killers are stronger and more chemically potent than their indoor counterparts, so using them indoors could be hazardous to your health and safety. On the other hand, indoor ant killers may not be as resilient to being washed away by rain. Always check the labels to understand the proper usage requirements.
10 Best Ant Killers Reviewed
A spray can of ant killer is the best approach for a quick way to kill ants on contact. Raid Ant & Roach Killer is one of the most effective ant killing sprays on the market. One of the features that makes Raid Ant & Roach Killer so popular is how easy it is to use: Simply shake up the can, hold it 18 inches from the surface you want to treat, and spray the area. Be aware that Raid recommends against spraying it anywhere near people, food, and pets. Never ingest the product and always thoroughly wash your hands after using it.
Raid Ant & Roach Killer is designed to kill insects on contact, but residual effects can kill insects for up to four weeks after the application. Despite its ability to linger and kill bugs over time, the odor is minor and quick to fade, so it shouldn’t bother you or anyone else in your household. Active ingredients include cypermethrin and imiprothrin, which are two commonly used chemicals in pesticides.
Orange Guard is considered to be an “eco-friendly” pest control and is considered safer to use around pets and small children. Instead of using toxic ingredients, Orange Guard is a water-based insecticide made with orange peel extract. Since the ingredients are all natural, the spray is safe to use around people, pets, and food. Plus, it has a mild citrus odor instead of the strong chemical odor produced by non-organic insect repellants.
Like other pesticide sprays, you simply spray Orange Guard on the surface you want to treat. Orange Guard will kill any insects on contact and should keep bugs away from the area for a couple of weeks.
Aunt Fannie’s is a company that manufactures everything from ant killers to mosquito repellents with a minimal impact on the environment. All of their products are designed to target a particular pest and avoid harming the natural microbiome since any of these microorganisms are ultimately beneficial to us and our environment.
Aunt Fannie’s Ant Remedy steers clear of harsh chemicals and instead relies on two natural active ingredients: clove oil and cottonseed oil. Both oils are safe to use around kids and pets, so this is an excellent product for busy family homes. Aunt Fannie’s Ant Remedy should be sprayed around ant entry points like doors, windows, and your home’s foundation on a monthly basis. Ants hate the way it smells and will stay away with no harsh impact on your kids, pets, and the local microorganisms who work behind the scenes to ensure your microbiome is stable and healthy.
Advion Ant Gel is a heavy-duty insecticide designed to combat serious ant infestations. The active ingredient is Indoxacarb, a powerful chemical pesticide created by DuPont.
Advion Ant Gel is fairly easy to use. It comes in a pre-loaded applicator that you use to simply squeeze the gel into any nooks and crannies that you notice ants use to enter your home. The gel is thick enough that it won’t drip down your walls and also potent enough that you only need to use a small amount. The gel is not designed to kill on contact, but instead functions similarly to bait traps: ants will scoop up the gel and carry it back to their colony where they ingest it and die. You won’t notice the effects right away, but after a few weeks, there should be a noticeable decline in your home’s ant population.
If you don’t like the idea of having to spray chemicals around your house to keep bugs away, then the LT&PK Ultrasonic Pest Repeller could be a great alternative. Instead of using chemical repellants, this device uses ultrasonic frequencies to scare away ants and other pests like flies and roaches. Luckily, humans and pets aren’t affected by the sound, so you don’t have to worry about getting bugged by it too.
The devices come in packs of four and each one protects an area of about 900 square feet, so if you place them throughout your home you should have solid coverage unless your home is extremely large.
Keep in mind that ultrasonic devices don’t offer the same immediate relief of sprays or other chemicals that kill on contact. Since the devices function by repelling rather than killing, they can take several days before they reach peak performance. The ultrasonic waves are also not able to permeate through walls, so if you want to treat multiple rooms, you’ll have to place a device in each one.
Liquid ant baits are another an excellent option for killing ants and other unwanted pests in your home. Unlike a spray that kills on contact, ant bait is designed to be carried back to the colony and consumed by the ants. Terro’s T300 Liquid Ant Bait is made with the active ingredient Borax which destroys the ants’ digestive systems. And since ants typically carry the bait back to the colony to be consumed, it has the potential to kill many ants at their point of origin. For this reason, liquid ant baits have a reputation for being highly effective, but they do take longer before you notice the benefits. Terro stipulates you may have to wait up to two weeks before you notice a reduction in ants.
Terro’s T300 Liquid Ant Bait is simple to use. All you need to do is snip the top of each bait pack off with scissors and then place it in a high-infestation area. Since the packs come with six traps each, you can place them in multiple infestation sights or strategically place them in different areas you suspect ants may be entering from. As with other chemical-based ant killers, keep the traps away from small children and pets.
Terro also has an effective outdoor ant killer in their product lineup. This may be the right option for you if your infestation is outside, like on a patio or a deck, or if you’d prefer to kill ants outdoors before they enter your home. Just like the indoor version of Terro’s Liquid Ant Baits (#6 on this list), the Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits come in ready-to-use plastic packs filled with Borax. Designed specifically for outdoor use, the baits are protected from rain and wind via water-proofing and also come with small stakes you can use to secure them to your property.
Keep in mind that bait-based methods of killing ants take longer to work than sprays or chemicals that kill on contact. Ants will have to first find the bait and haul it back to their hive for consumption before you notice any effects. According to Terro, this could take up to two weeks.
Unlike trap-based ant baits, Amdro’s Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait comes in granules that you can spread around your property. This is an ideal option for large infestations or if you have a large property with widespread ant activity. The ant bait is designed to kill 15 species of ants. Hydramethylnon, a potent chemical pesticide, is the active ingredient. It should not be used anywhere near children, pets, or gardens where food is grown for consumption.
Fire ants are an aggressive species of ant that will bite if you stray too close to their nests. Their bites are painful and can result in welts or even allergic reactions. Anyone who spends an extensive amount of time in their yards, including small children and pets, can fall victim to fire ants. The ant killer is in powder form, so all you have to do is sprinkle it around any fire ant mounds you notice in your yard. The ants will take care of the rest by carrying the poison down into their colony where it will be consumed by other ants, including the queen. As with other chemical-based ant killers, be very careful when coming into contact with the powder, and don’t allow small children or pets too close to the treated sites.
Terro’s Multi-Surface Liquid Ant Baits are a refreshing twist on traditional liquid ant baits. Instead of simply placing the traps on the floor, tucked into corners of beneath furniture, these ant baits come with adhesive strips and are designed to be stuck to walls or beneath cabinets if needed. Simply use the adhesive strip to securely place the trap and then twist off the plastic freshness tab to open the trap. Each pack contains four ant baits, so you can strategically place them around your home near suspected entry-points.