Ants aren't the most troublesome household pest, as these small insects live off crumbs and scurry around underfoot without spreading disease, but they breed fast and some varieties have a painful sting. To keep children, pets, and your feet safe, wiping out an ant infestation quickly is the best way to stop a tiny annoyance from becoming a major problem. Keeping your house free of food waste is the best way to deter ants, but if they're getting in the best ant bait can lure them in with tempting smells and tastes and wipe them out.
The best ant baits use a combination of appealing scents and chemicals toxic to ants to attract them and then wipe out the infestation, but not all ant baits are created equal. You don't want to buy a product that promises results and lacks the needed strength, which is why we're on the lookout for the ten best ant baits to turn back the clock on an ant infestation and leave your home bug-free.
Best Ant Bait FAQ
Mosquito traps and bug zappers are becoming a common home accessory as concern grows about the diseases these bugs can carry. Make sure you choose the best mosquito killer for your situation by understanding how they work and the various features you will find. Here are some common questions about insect traps along with our answers.
What Methods Do Ant Baits Use to Attract and Kill Ants?
The best ant baits are gels or liquids designed to attract ants with a sweet smell. They use corrosive chemicals like borax to impact the ants structure and kill them over hours or days.
Will the Best Ant Baits Wipe Out a Whole Colony?
Many of the best ant baits have a secondary kill effect where the ant brings the bait and toxin back to their colony and spreads.
Are Ant Baits Easy to Set Up?
Yes, most of the best ant baits on this list come in liquid or gel form and need to be poured into a small saucer. Some come in pre-set traps.
Are the Best Ant Baits Safe for Use Around Kids and Pets?
Some of the ant baits on this list use chemicals that shouldn't be placed around kids or pets, and the pre-set traps are safer.
Where Can I Buy the Best Ant Baits?
The following list of the ten best ant baits can be purchased on Amazon or at major housewares retailers like Home Depot or Lowes. A selection can also be found at all-purpose retailers like Walmart or Rite-Aid.
How We Reviewed
The following list of the best ant baits was reviewed based affordability, number of uses per purchases, ease of setup, ease of cleanup, effectiveness at attracting ants, effectiveness at killing ants, secondary kill effect, safety around kids and pets, and effectiveness at dealing with different species of ants.
Overall Price Range
The following list of the ten best ant baits ranges in price from $ to $$. The more expensive ant baits come from specialized companies and are shipped in larger quantities, while the smaller low-cost packages are ideal for dealing with small one-time infestations.
What We Reviewed
TERRO PreFilled Liquid Ant Killer II Baits
This is a popular low-cost choice for ant baits thanks to the convenient pre-filled trap that lures ants without turning your house into a sticky mess like many unassembled liquid baits. It comes in six-packs of pre-filled bait stations that come set up and ready to use. Just peel open the trap near ant trails or common locations for ants in your house, and they'll be attracted quickly. The patented design keeps the bait from drying out, and will kill all common household ants thanks to the slow-acting Borax-based solution that they'll drag back to the colony.
Raid Ant Gel, 1.06 OZ (Pack - 6)
Raid is one of the most popular names in ant bait and bug killers, and this fast-acting gel works to both prevent bugs and eliminate the current population with a powerful gel that uses Thiamethoxam as the active ingredient. Odorless and immediately fatal to ants, it kills bugs at the source when applied to common locations like corners and cracks in the wall where they enter the house. It also creates a Raid Max patented bug barrier that works for up to a month, repelling ants that enter your house and preventing recurrent infestations.
Amdro 100511025 Fire
Ant Yard Treatment Bait, 5 Pound
A fire ant infestation can turn your entire yard into a hazard, so you need a heavy-duty solution to kill these fast-growing and aggressive colonies before they bite. This five-pound bag of granules not only kills active ants, it targets the queen and the entire colony with a two-way killing method that has the poisoned ants bring the poison back to the nest. The bag covers up to ten thousand square feet, and a single treatment lasts the entire season and kills both visible and underground ant mounds.
Using powerful Hydramethlnon as its active ingredient, this ant bait should be spread using a rotary or handheld spreader and will wipe out carpenter and harvester ants too.
TERRO T1806 Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits
If you're dealing with large infestations of common black ants outdoors, you need a bigger solution than standard ant traps, and popular ant bait company TERRO has you covered. This low-cost package comes with six pre-filled bait balls that can be placed anywhere outside your home, including around a yard filled with anthills. The bait stations are weatherproof and good for all seasons and can be secured into the ground with included stakes, protecting them from other yard pests like squirrels.
The slow-acting active ingredient in these bait balls coats the ant with the toxin, letting them spread the poison back to the colony and queen and wiping out an entire colony in two weeks.
Bayer 4314807 Maxforce Carpenter Gel Ant Insecticide
This powerful ant-killing gel from drug manufacturer Bayer uses Fipronil, one of the most powerful insecticides on the market for when you need to wipe out a small ant infestation quickly. It's powerful enough to wipe out most common house ants, but specifically targets the persistent and damaging carpenter ants common in old houses. It comes in a twenty-seven gram tube that should be spread where ants are common, and proper use will yield successful kills with only one gram per spot.
Harris Ant Killer
A low-cost solution for killing common household ants, this set of ant-killing bait trays comes nine to a set and boasts a sweet liquid bait that will attract insects and spread the Borax-based solution back to their colony. It's designed for sugar ants, including the common little black ants that often infest houses and come after food waste. Registered with the EPA for its all-natural solution, the Harris Ant Killer is a slow-acting ant-killer that spreads its Borax back to the colony and queen and keeps your ant problem from recurring.
Kness Pack Ant Bait Stations
Designed for outdoor use, the Kness Ant Bait Stations are one of the sturdiest ant traps around and come in a plastic base with a stake for securely driving the bait into the ground. Each bait station contains both granular and liquid baits, increasing the ant types you can trap with this model, and each station has multiple entry holes for maximum ant movement. The tamper-proof lid protects the bait inside from other yard pest like squirrels and also makes it safe for use around kids and pets.
The UV-resistant stations keep the bait active for longer than other yard baits, making this an ideal choice for larger infestations and active ant colonies.
AMDRO Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait Granules
The best way to prevent an ant infestation in your home is to target the ant colony before they find their way in, and this powerful ant-killer from AMDRO treats your lawn and creates a barrier around your home. It uses hard granules with hydramethylnon as the active ingredient, and it's powerful enough to target fire ants and twenty-five other ant species. The barrier it creates lasts up to three months, and this low-cost bottle can cover up to 540 feet in a front or back yard.
The powerful granules should be kept away from kids and pets, but this package provides one of the best outdoor ant killers and can wipe out a large colony in weeks.
Orange Guard 101 Home Pest Control
Orange Guard is an eco-friendly alternative to chemical-based ant-baits, and it focuses on killing on contact rather than spreading the poison back to the colony. This makes the 128-ounce jug a popular large-scale solution for keeping pests out of industrial kitchens, as it's considered food-safe and safe for use around kids and pets. The water-based formula uses orange-peel extract to dissolve the hard bodies of ants, killing them quickly and cutting small infestations off before they become a colony.
Aunt Fannie's Ant Remedy
A low-cost, small-scale, and all-natural solution to ant problems ideal for homes when the first ants show up, this is a spray bottle that uses a combination of clove and cottonseed essential oils to repel ants. This is not an ant-killer. The best use is to spray the oil-based formula around areas where ants like to enter, creating a protective barrier. Equal parts ant repellant and air freshener, it lasts months with regular use and is cleared for safe use around kids, pets, and food storage areas.
All ten of the ant baits and ant killers on this list impressed us with their ability to disrupt and eliminate ant infestations and colonies before they get out of control, and the non-lethal alternative of Aunt Fannie's Ant Remedy also delivered strong results. For major fire ant infestations where a more powerful solution is needed, the Amdro Fire Ant Yard Treatment Bait is highly recommended.
However, one product stood out due to its ability to handle large colonies of the common black ant with an all-natural solution. We give our endorsement to the Harris Ant Killer as the best ant bait on the market today.
Featured image source: Unsplash