What’s the Best Pet Safe Ant Killer? 3 Pet Friendly Ant Killers that Work

The trouble with ants is that they just won’t listen to reason. Once they’ve decided that your home is a good place to get food or to raise their millions of kids, there’s not much you can do to persuade them gently to leave.

The world of insects is cruel and harsh, and unfortunately, you’re probably going to have to be pretty cruel yourself.

Ants don’t know the meaning of the word surrender. To reclaim your home, you’re going to have to kill them all.

But before you go full Schwarzenegger, stop and think for a minute. Getting rid of ants is probably going to involve the use of pesticide, but pesticides are designed to kill.

The tricky part is finding a product that is deadly enough to get rid of your ants but isn’t going to harm anyone in your household.

Because of their smaller body size, inquisitive natures and, let’s face it, tendency to do dumb things, pets are especially vulnerable to pesticides.

Luckily, there are plenty of pet safe ant killers on the market that are designed for use in houses with curious pets. It is possible to kill ants without harming your four-legged friends.

But first, you need to understand a little more about the pesticides available to you.

Pet Safe Ant Control 101

The trick to effective yet safe pest control is what’s known as an Integrated Pest Management approach.

Something of a buzzword in the professional pest control industry, what this boils down to is a method of investigating and understanding the extent of a pest problem so you can devise a treatment plan that makes minimal use of pesticides while still being effective.

In other words, don’t go tenting your house and hosing it down with gallons of radioactive poison because you saw three ants one time.

Using a targeted approach, your treatment will not only be more effective but will also be less harmful to any non-target animals, including your pets.

So a good place to start is by making your home less attractive to ants. Yes, it is much more boring than going nuclear with pesticides but it’s also a lot safer.

how to get rid of ants
This is what your kitchen cupboard should look like.

Store food in such a way that the ants can’t get to it. Sealed plastic bags and containers are great for this. Mop up any food spills immediately. Don’t leave pet food out for long periods. 

Once you’ve done all of that, and you’re still having ant problems, then it’s time to turn to the chemical side of pet safe ant control.

So what are your options? Generally speaking, there are two different approaches to treating an ant problem in your house: ant traps and ant pesticide sprays.

Let’s dive into the nitty gritty of each option and how pet friendly they are.

Do Pet Safe Ant Traps Work?

Your first option for pet friendly ant control is to use bait. The best ant bait consist of a food source that is attractive to ants laced with a poison to kill them. The advantage of baits is that the ants do most of the work for you.

Once they’ve found a food source, they will come back to it again and again.

Ant baits are formulated in such a way that the poison kills the ants slowly. That’s not because they were developed by labs full of bitter scientists trying to avenge the murder of their martial arts teacher by a roving band of ants.

It’s because of the way ant colonies feed. To fully eradicate an ant problem, you need to kill off not just the foraging adult ants that you can see, but also the young ants, or brood, and the queen that created them.

Ant baits are great at this because the ants will carry the poison into the colony themselves.

However, the disadvantage of this is that it can take a while. Often when using baits, you can still see ants for weeks after you begin treatment.

Be patient, Grasshopper. If the bait is used correctly, you should steadily see less and less until finally, they’re gone for good.

Is There an Ant Spray Safe for Pets?

If you’re the impatient type, you might be looking for a quicker way. Mainly, an ant pesticide spray that has the advantage of killing ants right away.

But you wonder…are these sprays safe for your pets?

The short answer is: it depends. The long answer is: in order to ensure the ant spray is safe for pets, you must use it carefully and follow all instructions.

Please note that when we’re talking about ant killer sprays, we’re speaking of highly effective pesticides that are proven to wipe out ant colonies, not organic essential oil sprays that may be completely safe for pets but lack in effectiveness.

If you’re interested in getting rid of your ant infestation pronto and you want to use the chemical option, just note that the pesticide option requires more work, since you need to find where the colony is for them to be effective.

Also, because these chemicals are more potent than those used in ant baits, you’ll want to keep your pets well away from the treatment area while you perform the treatment and for at least six hours afterward.

As a result, most pet owners find that the bait approach is a better way to go.

But not all baits are created equal. Lucky for you, we’ve tried them all so that you don’t have to. Here are the best pet friendly ant killers that actually work.

Top 3 Pet Safe Ant Killer Products

You’re setting out to do some serious ant damage but you want to kill pests, not pets.

Anytime you find yourself doing a pest control treatment, you’ll learn that it’s a balancing act. You want what you’re doing to be highly lethal to the ants you’re trying to get rid of, but also safe for your family and pets.

The good news is, it’s entirely possible to have both. The ant killers listed below should get the job done without causing any harm to your furry roommates.

Advion Ant Gel Bait

Advion’s Ant Gel Bait is one of the most effective and versatile pet safe ant traps. It’s lethal to ants without posing much risk to your furry friends and you can apply it in small cracks and corners that your pets can’t get to.

In case you couldn’t tell from the name, this product is a bait designed for the ants to carry back to the nest and feed it to the brood and the queen.

Pest control professionals widely use this particular bait, and they’re the people who need to deal with ant problems every day.

Why’s it so popular? The active ingredient, indoxacarb, has a method of action that’s kind of genius. When consumed by an ant, indoxacarb undergoes bio-conversion into a far more toxic form.

In the case of ants, this leads to paralysis and death. But because mammals, such as humans, cats and dogs lack the enzymes that ants use to consume food, indoxacarb doesn’t convert into that more toxic form, rendering it the perfect pet friendly ant killer.

Don’t go thinking that means it’s completely harmless, though. After all, water is lethal in high enough dosages.

It’s best to try and apply this gel in areas where ants can get to it, but dogs and cats won’t. Not only does this protect your pets, but it makes your treatment more effective since your pets aren’t gobbling up all the bait that’s meant for the ants.

best ant traps

But if your pet does accidentally get a taste for Advion, you don’t need to worry about it harming them. Studies have found no adverse effects on cats or dogs from ingesting indoxacarb unless the animal consumes so much it would’ve been life-threatening anyway.

Advion comes in a disposable syringe that makes it easy to apply. The product itself is a fairly viscous gel, but take care while applying so that it doesn’t run, especially during hot weather.

It’s best to apply this gel in lots of small spots rather than one big long streak. This increases the chances of foraging ants finding it.

One disadvantage of the gel, though, is that the longer it stays out, the harder it gets to clean up. Over time, the gel will harden slightly, and you may need to use a bit of elbow grease to remove it.

That’s only if the ants don’t eat it all first, of course.

Terro Ant Bait Stations

Pet safe ant traps don’t come much easier to use than this. While this is another product that uses a liquid bait to attract and poison ants, in the case of Terro Ant Bait Stations, you don’t need to mess around applying the bait yourself.

pet friendly ant killer

Simply remove the bait station from the package, twist off the tab and set it down in an area you’ve seen ants foraging. The plastic packaging keeps pets away from the bait, but it allows the ants to come and go, bringing the poison back to the nest.

The active ingredient in Terro Ant Bait Stations is borax. You may be familiar with Borax as a cleaning product, but it’s also a stomach poison for ants.

Now, Borax isn’t harmless to mammals such as cats and dogs either. But the Terro bait stations keep the pesticide away from inquisitive pets.

best ant traps

Besides, even if your dog ate one of these bait stations, it wouldn’t consume enough Borax to do it any harm.

In fact, you’d need to worry far more about the plastic of the bait station itself than you would about the Borax inside.

The downside to these bait stations is the cost. The more stations you use, the quicker and more effectively you’ll get your ant problem under control.

But they’re not cheap, and the cost can quickly add up. Still, they’re a very effective indoor ant killer safe for pets, and ridiculously easy to use.

Talstar Professional Insecticide

Maybe you know exactly where the ants are nesting. Or perhaps you want to spray the perimeter of your home as a preventative measure, to stop ants from getting inside in the first place.

Or maybe, as a pet owner, you have other pest problems – like ticks – and are looking for something that will work on a variety of pest species. In that case, Talstar Professional might be what you’re looking for.

what kills ticks

As a professional grade insecticide, Talstar isn’t even trying to be easy to use. As well as the pesticide itself, you’ll need a sprayer to use it.

You’ll need to mix it with water to get the pesticide to the correct concentration. And definitely follow the instructions on the label, and don’t make the mistake of thinking that a higher concentration means a better result.

Wearing protective equipment while applying this pesticide, such as gloves and a mask, is also a smart idea. Hey, if you want professional results, you have to approach it like a pro.

Talstar kills ants more or less on contact. So if you apply it directly to an ant nest, chances are high that you’ll kill all of the ants.

Note that you will want to keep any pets well out of the way while you apply this pesticide. And let it dry before you let them go anywhere near it. Once the pesticide is dry, it’s perfectly safe for pets to be around the area that you’ve sprayed. Just don’t let them get near it when it’s wet.

Clearly, this isn’t the safest option out there for ant control. But it is quick, and it is effective.

And given the fact that the pesticide is meant to be diluted, it’s surprisingly affordable. It’s safe for your pets as long as you follow the precautions.

So if you want something a little more aggressive, this could be the ant killer for you. But if you prefer the peace of mind in using a completely pet safe ant killer – choose one of the ant bait options above.

Either way, you and your pets win and the ants lose.

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