When dealing with an ant infestation, the first problem people have is determining the species and then the most efficient way of killing that particular species. These days, things don’t have to be so complicated.
Many of the best ant traps & baits come with wide-spectrum insecticide compounds that can handle dozens of species. Therefore, picking the right product for you will have little to do with the ant species, but more so with their behavior and preferred food.
14 Best Ant Traps & Baits - Kill All Kinds of Ants!
Check out some of my favorite ant baits and traps that you can use inside and outside your home.
- 14 Best Ant Traps & Baits - Kill All Kinds of Ants!
- 1. Terro T300B Liquid Ant Baits
- 2. Home Plus Ant Killer
- 3. Hot Shot HG-2048 MaxAttrax Ant Bait
- 4. Combat Max Ant Killing Bait Stations
- 5. Terro 1806 Liquid Ant Bait
- 6. Amdro Kills Ants Liquid Ant Bait
- 7. Raid Precision Placement Raid Ant Gel
- 8. Harris Ant Killer
- 9. Maxforce Quantum Liquid Bait
- 10. Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Granules
- 11. Advion Ant Gel
- 12. Combat Indoor and Outdoor Ant Killing Gel
- 13. Syngenta TRTD11568 Optigard
- 14. Rockwell Labs ITAB004 InTice Ant Bait
- Treating Indoor vs Outdoor Infestations
- Granules vs Gels vs Liquid Bait
- The Importance of Bait Stations
- How Much Do the Ingredients Matter?
Liquid ant baits are among my favorite methods of eradicating ant colonies. I like them even more when they can be safely used around pets and kids. The Terro T300B comes in a two-pack with liquid bait stations.
The bait stations are completely covered and have small tear-off caps. By removing the cap from a station you’ll expose a very small entrance, just enough for the ants go to through it back and forth. As you may have already suspected, the Terro T300B bait stations contain a liquid formula with a time-released effect.
Although the main active ingredient is Borax, other inert ingredients mask it really well. Therefore, the ants will take it from the station back with them to the colony where the poison will spread among the rest of the population, including the queen.
These bait stations are great for both indoor and outdoor use because they’re waterproof and have a fairly stable base. However, they’re not ideal for dealing with burrowing or flying ants.
If your attempts to locate the ant hill or colony nest haven’t been successful, you may be in need of some powerful poison with a very slow release. This is where the Home Plus Ant Killer can help you.
This formula won’t start working until roughly 24 hours after the ants come in contact with it. This means that you can place them close or far away from an ant hill and still get excellent results. The unique combination of ingredients also includes four popular ant food sources which will attract most of the common household species, with the exception of carpenter, harvester, and fire ants.
I like how the Home Plus Ant Killer bait stations are made. They feature a metal base which gives them extra weight and stability. These bait stations are not easily tipped over and the premade holes are easy to puncture to allow access inside.
With Abamectin as the main active ingredient, you also get a long-lasting effect. Each bait station has enough bait to last for up to a month after breaking the seal.
If you’re looking for long-lasting ant bait, Hot Shot may have an answer for you. I recommend looking at the Hot Shot HG-2048 MaxAttrax. This ant bait comes in childproof bait stations and represents a great value for homeowners.
One pack of MaxAttrax has eight bait stations. That’s enough insecticide to take care of your home for the next six months. And I do say “your home” and not “your property” because when used outside, the formula will lose its potency fast due to the elements.
The main active ingredient in MaxAttrax is Indoxacard. This is a known insecticide, used in many ant gels, baits, and even in some flea killers that you can apply directly to your dog’s coat. In other words, the MaxAttrax bait is less toxic to pets than many other formulas, though you should still avoid leaving the bait stations where the pets may get at them and open them up.
I also like the fact that this Hot Shot formula works in a matter of hours. You won’t have to wait too long for the queen and the rest of the colony to die.
While most homeowners worry about battling indoor ant infestations, you should know that ants can be found all over the place. That’s why I sometimes like recommending the Combat Max Ant Bait Stations. This bait can handle harsh weather without losing its potency, being one of your best options for outdoor use.
You’ll get a total of six bait stations in one pack of the Combat Max. Each station contains a bait formula with 0.1% Fipronil which is universally effective against all ant species. It’s also an insecticide that doesn’t kill on contact but rather within hours, which gives it decent broadcasting properties.
The bait stations have a childproof design and a round build with multiple entry and exit points. This gives the bait stations improved stability against pets that run around the home or strong winds in open spaces. Although the bait stations are lightweight, it’s best to place them outside in areas that can’t be flooded because they don’t float.
I would also like to point out that the bait is solid. This means that pets won’t be able to get it out unless they crack or tear open the bait station. That is yet another reason why it’s a versatile and safe-to-use solution for common ant infestations.
You can think of the Terro 1806 bait stations as the Hotel California for ants. Once they check in they will never leave. The natural attractants used in the borax-based formula mask the Borax well and are very efficient in drawing in ants from far away.
After the ants climb into the bait station they’ll likely drown in the liquid bait. If not, they’ll die shortly after due to how toxic Borax is to them. The bait stations have an interesting design and are mainly intended for outside use.
Although you can use it indoors, I find it most efficient outside because it can be staked into the ground. The plastic stakes that come with the bait stations are thin and easy to drive into the ground. You can also use the holes in a bait station to fix it to your deck with some nails or screws.
With the entire bait station covered, pets won’t be able to reach the liquid inside. The cover also provides weatherproofing and reduces the chance of the liquid drying out. The unique formulation of the Terro 1806 Liquid Ant Bait will attract all sweet-eating ants, and should also work on flyer and burrower ants, if you place the bait stations close to their nests.
The Amdro Kills Ants is a Borax-based insecticide with a delayed effect. It comes as a six-pack with six bait stations designed to prevent pets and kids from coming in contact with the bait. Even though liquid bait is used, bumping or hitting the bait station shouldn’t spill too much insecticide.
Another cool thing about the Amdro Kills Ants bait stations is that they have a very low profile. This makes them almost impossible to tip over. With that said, I’m not too fond of the somewhat flimsy build these bait stations have. If you step on a station you may inadvertently crack it open, so make sure to place it in hard-to-reach places and out of high-traffic areas. Also consider placing them in hidden spots.
Build quality aside, these Amdro bait stations can be used both inside and outside. The top of each plastic basin is sealed, so that rain can’t dilute the formula. You may still want to place them under some shade to avoid drying out the liquid during the hot summer days.
The Raid Ant Gel is not just one of the most efficient, but also one of the most versatile ant baits. Gel gel is easy to apply anywhere inside your home. It’s particularly convenient if you have to apply bait in cracks and tunnels dug by a burrower species, such as carpenter ants.
This makes it useful against all types of ants. It can attract ants from very far away, so you’ll be less restricted in terms of application. Another reason why I like it is that, unlike most gels, the residual control effect can last up to one month.
The main active ingredient is Thiamethoxam. This systemic insecticide is known for its slow-acting but highly efficient poison that works miracles against a wide variety of insect species. Regardless of species, the formula should start working in a couple of hours.
This gives the worker ants enough time to bring the poison back into the nest and spread it all the way down to the queen. But, all things considered, I should mention that the applicator is a bit clunky.
The Harris Ant Killer contains a liquid Borax formula and comes with nine bait stations per pack. This gives the pack great value, as it’s also affordable and slow-acting. I like slow acting insecticides because they give the worker ants enough time to bring the bait back to the nest and spread the poison around, and eventually infect the queen.
I should point out that these bait stations are not exactly what you would call childproof or pet-safe. They’re uncovered which will make it easy for anyone or anything to access the liquid Borax formula. However, if you leave them in an infested room and lock the doors overnight, by morning your ant problem should be solved.
I also don’t recommend the Harris Ant Killer for outdoor use even though it has a very potent formula, perhaps the most potent in its price range. Nonetheless, the uncovered bait stations are still an issue. Rain, wind, and galloping rodents could easily dilute the formula or tip the bait stations over, thus wasting the product.
Granted, this is not the cheapest liquid bait I can recommend but its properties make it nothing short of efficient. Besides, you should keep in mind that you’re getting a 4oz bottle, which is quite a lot for the money. If you live in an area prone to ant infestations, then you should consider this bait for long-term ant control.
The insecticide squeeze bottle container also comes with 10 reusable bait stations. This will allow you to treat multiple areas of the house simultaneously. The combination of reusable bait stations and a separate insecticide bottle also serves another purpose. It will allow you to bait walker, flyer, and burrower ants.
You can squeeze the formula inside carpenter ant nests. You can also apply it around chimneys, or place it on the ground in the trays that are included in the package. Just keep in mind that the trays are uncovered. This makes them a bit unsafe for pets and kids. Use the trays in closed off rooms or garages.
If you have an outdoor ant infestation, you may want to try out some granules. The Amdro Ant Block granules can be dusted in strips around your property to prevent new ants from coming in after you’ve cleared the area.
You can also use them all over your lawn and around ornamental plants, as ants will pick them up and take them back to their nest. Once the poison starts spreading, it shouldn’t take more than one or two days to get rid of the worker ants, their queen, and any remaining eggs.
These granules are formulated to battle over 20 common ant species, including carpenter and fire ants. That’s why they’re so effective outdoors. You should also know that the granules can withstand quite a bit of water before they start losing potency.
11. Advion Ant Gel
The Advion Ant Gel is a unique formula, specifically designed to take care of carpenter ants, ghost ants, argentine ants, as well as a few more very annoying species. Each pack contains four 1.06oz squeeze tubes that allow for very precise application.
The main ingredient is Indoxacarb, a versatile compound found in many insecticides and pesticides because of its broad-spectrum efficiency. You may also appreciate the very narrow opening on each tube. This will make it easy to get the gel inside carpenter ant tunnels, cracks, crevices, framing spaces, and other tight spots.
Also, this will ensure minimal product waste and optimal placement every time. Sadly, the gel quickly loses its potency if used outside. Water, sun exposure, wind, and even high humidity may cause it to drop in potency.
Combat offers a very potent ant gel. It doesn’t kill on contact, and this is exactly what you want if you’re dealing with a massive infestation. The worker ants have more than enough time to carry it back to their colony and infect their queen.
The formula contains a high percentage of water. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be the best option, but in this case it leaves more gel for the ants to dig into. Add to that the fact that the gel is quite cheap and you’re getting pretty good value for your money.
Compared to other options, this formula kills rather slowly. It can take up between three to five days before the ants start dying. But, if you don’t need a quick fix, this can actually be a good thing. The extra time allows the formula to be spread among all ants, making this gel one of the best ant killers to use against strays, flyer ants, and carpenter ants.
Syngenta TRTD11568 Optigard is one of the most recognizable ant baits. Each pack comes with four syringes for a total of 4.24oz of insecticide, equally divided among the syringes. This gel uses my favorite method of baiting to spread the poison to all members of the colony.
The formula will work on most walker ants, but it hasn’t proved to be very efficient against burrowing or flying ants. That’s because it has a different set of natural attractants than those preferred by burrowers and flyers.
What I probably like the most about the Syngenta Optigard is the syringe, really. Its plunger is not too sensitive, so it’s easy to control how much of the product you apply, surely easier than with many other similar solutions. But, it’s up to you to decide if that’s also worth the bump in the price.
Rockwell Labs have liquid ant bait that manages to maintain its potency in both indoors and outdoors scenarios. It provides impressive ant control and superb killing efficiency with a wide variety of ant species.
The formula comes in a 4oz liquid bottle applicator. It contains Borax as the main active ingredient, and in a large concentration I might add. This obviously doesn’t have repellent properties, so it won’t provide much of a residual control effect. However, the poison will remain active for a few months.
As long as new ants keep eating it, you won’t have to worry about another infestation. Although this ant bait is designed mostly for fire ants, its ability to eliminate any type of colony makes it nothing short of impressive.
I do caution against using the bottle in a hurry. It can squirt quite a lot of bait out if you squeeze it too tight. Also, keep in mind that you can dilute the formula if you want to target large ant hills or deep carpenter ant tunnel networks. It will still work, but it will take longer to kill all the ants.
Treating Indoor vs Outdoor Infestations
Regardless of where the ant infestation is – in the kitchen, pantry, garage, or the middle of the lawn, it’s always important to use a slow-acting insecticide with broadcasting properties. This type of product will attract ants from far away and kill them after they’ve spread the bait inside the colony’s nest.
While kill-on-contact insecticides are also helpful, they won’t provide much residual control. And, the majority of those insecticides will get easily washed away outside. Finally, when used indoors, they typically make it difficult for the ants to reach them because they often feature some repellent properties or unappealing fragrances.
Granules vs Gels vs Liquid Bait
Granules are almost always used outdoors. That’s because they won’t cause a mess out there like they would inside your home. Granules also have a superior resistance to water and are less likely to be affected by rain or high humidity.
Gels on the other hand, rarely handle water well. So you’ll want to use gels inside your home. Apply them inside cracks, crevices, tunnel holes, spaces between framing, on the edges of tall furniture, and so on.
Liquid bait has some very clear disadvantages when used on its own. You’ll need to set up some makeshift bait stations or buy commercial ones. Watery baits can get absorbed by carpeting and bedding, and they can also sometimes stain your furniture or flooring. Not to mention that they lose potency very fast.
The Importance of Bait Stations
No matter what kind of bait you’re using, placing it into a bait station is very important. This will protect the bait from the elements if you’re using it outdoors. It will also keep your pets and kids away from it, in case you’re using a chemical pesticide instead of a natural formula.
Many insecticides come with their own bait stations. Some are great, some are pretty versatile, and some are downright annoying to use in the long run. It’s important to weigh your options depending on how serious your infestation is and whether you have pets and/or kids.
You should also consider the build quality of bait stations because not all stations are built to last. Cheap, plastic and fully covered bait stations may seem like a great idea for outdoor use. But if they have a tall profile wind can easily tip them over. They can also crack if you accidentally step on them.
Some of the best bait stations for ants out there are made entirely out of metal or at least have a metal base. There are also bait stations that can be staked into the ground. Those are really cool, as they can be secured to almost any surface, except household flooring and concrete.
How Much Do the Ingredients Matter?
I can’t stress enough how many ingredients are used these days in ant baits. Borax is the most popular choice because it’s cost-effective and also an efficient slow-release poison. Fipronil probably comes in at the close second, but there are plenty more options to consider.
The only real difference is how long it takes them to kill ants. Some are faster and some slower. But it’s sometimes hard to tell beforehand because the concentration per ounce matters too. If you do decide to do some in-depth online research into the different ingredients, keep one thing in mind – the higher the concentration of insecticide the faster the ants die.
And, in the case of some ingredients this is not a good thing. That’s because the bait could kill ants before they can spread it inside the colony’s nest. As for the inert ingredients, these are rarely listed by manufacturers. However, they mostly contain growth regulators, ant attractants, and, in rare cases, repellents for ant population control.
Pick the Best and Don’t Worry About the Rest
There are so many ant traps and baits out there, that there’s really no excuse to postpone dealing with your infestation or paying a pile of money to a professional exterminator. As you can see, the advantage of the bait stations is that they can be used in so many places simultaneously that you won’t even have to locate the main colony hiding place beforehand.
This list contains all the trap and bait variations you’ll need to efficiently deal with walker, flyer, and burrower ants on a commercial or residential level. Pick the one that fits your budget and watch your problem quickly go away.