In nature and the suburban areas, ants bring tangible benefits: in particular, they protect plants from harmful insects (caterpillars, slugs, etc.). However, once they get into a room, from the defenders, they turn into pests themselves.
Ants are far from being as harmless as they seem at first glance and certainly will not bring you any benefits. On the other hand, there is plenty of harm.
- Like other types of insect pests, ants carry many bacteria on their paws. The reason for this is their lifestyle. Endlessly scurrying around in search of food in garbage containers, they pick up pathogens there and then spread them around the objects and food in a house.
- These insects store food supplies in our homes in secluded corners inaccessible to us. The consequence of this is the formation of fungus and mold in such “storages,” which subsequently cause significant harm to human health.
- Despite the bacteria on their legs, ants are relatively clean insects. They take out the garbage and excrements from the nests, storing all this “wealth” in unpredictable places. They can choose a location near our foodstuffs or in the children’s room as garbage containers.
Therefore, if ants appeared in your apartment – you should start to sound the alarm and take all the possible ways to get rid of them. But if you have pets in your house, you may face a difficult task – how to get rid of insects and, at the same time, not to harm your pets?
Most insecticides are toxic for your four-legged family members. As an entomologist, I could not stay away from this question, so in this article, I decided to highlight the best, in my opinion, pet-friendly ant killers.
- 1 Top 5 Extermination Products
- 2 Questions You Might Have When Choosing Pet Safe Ant Killer (Buyer’s Guide and FAQ)
- 3 What Are Your Thoughts About Pet Safe Ant Killers?
Top 5 Extermination Products
- mdxconcepts Organic Home Pest Control Spray
- Wondercide Natural Products - Indoor Pest Control Spray
- TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Bait Ant Killer, 12 Bait Stations
- Orange Guard 101 Home Pest Control Gallon
- EcoSMART Home Pest Control, 24 oz. Ready-to-Spray Bottle
When you need to use any method to make your home or yard free from insects, be sure you know the substance you apply is harmful for your pets when they encounter it. Many products are not especially toxic, but if you don’t want to put your pet’s health at risk, in this section, you will find my short reviews of the best pet safe ant insecticides.
1. Pet Safe Ant Spray by Mdx Concepts
It is a natural, fast-acting spray that kills pests on contact and repels new insects, providing long-lasting effect for your area. The formula of Mdx Concepts spray doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals and is based only on organic ingredients such as peppermint, rosemary, and spearmint oils.
The absence of dangerous poisons and harmful fumes makes this product completely safe for your family and pets, though it kills a wide range of invading pests. Mdx Concepts organic spray is effective against ants, roaches, spiders, earwigs, stink bugs, mites, silverfish, mosquitoes, termites, and scorpions.
All you have to do to cope with a pest infestation is just to shake the bottle and spray the product in the areas where the insects are found or may live and hide. Also, spray it in the cabinets and under sinks.
The pleasant bonus of this product is that it leaves a pleasant fresh fragrance after the application.
2. Wondercide Indoor Pet Friendly Ant Spray
This indoor pest control spray is mild enough to be used daily for a family and pets of all ages because it doesn’t contain any synthetic pesticides or artificial fragrances and colors. The active eliminating pests and the long-lasting repelling effect is reached by a specifically created formula of this spray, based on the power of the cedar oil.
Wondercide pest control spray is effective against ants, wasps, roaches, spiders, fruit flies, mosquitoes, and many other types of flying and crawling insects. This product will be beneficial for the treatment and prevention of fleas, since it breaks the flea life cycle, killing adult fleas and eliminating eggs & larvae.
To kill and prevent ants effectively, apply it to ant trails, to surfaces where drink or food spillage occurred, everywhere where insects can enter the house (especially around doors and windows). For ongoing problems, spray it once in 2-3 days, for prevention and maintenance – it’s enough to apply the product once a month.
One bottle (32 oz) of Wondercide natural spray treats up to 400 square feet of area and provides an incredible scent up to your choice; manufacturer suggests four possible: rosemary, cedar, peppermint, or lemongrass.
3. Terro Liquid Ant Baits – Animal Friendly Ant Killer
This useful product will help you to cope even with the heavy ant infestation and take it under complete control less than for two weeks. To make this liquid bait work, you just need to open up the station and put it on a flat surface, giving the ants access to the bait inside.
Attracted ants after consuming the bait, leave a pheromone trail back to the nest. It helps new working ants find the bait on this trail. So on the first day or two, you may see even more pests than before, but it means the bait is working.
The active ingredient of Terro liquid ant baits is Borax. It doesn’t kill ants immediately on contact but is slowly killing the digestive system of pests, giving them time to visit the bait a couple more times. Ants take a dose of forage back to the nest after trying the bait, so it contributes to bait spreading and circulating inside the ant colony, killing even those insects you can’t see.
Terro created the improved design for bait stations, with a snap-off tab, which makes it easier in use. Such configuration of stations make them safe for pets since the insects can’t get the bait, only small species can get inside it. Also, sealed stations prevent liquid bait from drying out.
You can use this pet-friendly ant killer on windowsills, along baseboards, and everywhere you have noticed numerous ants. Just make sure you haven’t used other insecticides there before because ants can avoid baits then.
4. Orange Guard Pet Safe Outdoor Ant Killer
This spray is an effective pet-safe way to get rid of ants in the house, as you can use it both indoors and outdoors. Pests mostly get inside the house from the outdoor perimeter, and Orange Guard will help to solve this problem.
You just need to use a pump-up garden sprayer on stream and spray this product into the crack, where the siding meets the foundation. This keeps ants and other crawling insects out of the wall, so that they won’t get into the house.
You can likewise spray Orange Guard into cracks and crevices inside the house, and it will make all the hidden bugs come out immediately and not go back. The active ingredient D-limonene kills pests on contact by dissolving the waxy coating on an insect’s exoskeleton, which leads to suffocation. The water-based formula of this spray is fatal for insects but safe to be used around food, humans, and pets.
5. EcoSmart Pet Safe Ant Killer for Yard
EcoSmart is a safe pesticide brand because all their products are based on essential oils, so are safe to be used around children and pets. While being non-toxic for humans, mammals, birds, and fishes, it remains dangerous for insects. This product kills and repels about 100 spices of home-invading pests.
EcoSmart is the perfect way to eliminate different household insects from your yard and not let them get inside your house. In they managed to get indoors, this essential oil ant killer will help you, as it can be applied inside too. Spray it all the areas in and around your home, where you need to control pests.
One bottle of this product (64 ounces) will cover up to 500 square feet of territory. It comes with a built-in hose and sprayer, which makes using an easy task in all areas you need.
EcoSmart acts fast and kills insects of contact, so soon after using it, this solution will help you to forget about ants, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other pesky insects on your territory. You can use it even to kill bugs on your plants in the garden and not worry about the chemicals contaminating the soil or groundwaters. This product is entirely organic, thus environmentally safe.
Questions You Might Have When Choosing Pet Safe Ant Killer (Buyer’s Guide and FAQ)
When choosing the ant killer, you want to be confident that it won’t harm your pet. So in this section, I try to summarize all the vital information to help you understand how pet safe ant killers work and answer some frequently asked questions.
How to Get Rid of Ants Safely for Pets: Types of Ant Killers
For minor infestation, you can soak an absorbent sponge into the sugar water, place it near the ant trail, and leave it for a day. The next day you will just wash off the dead ants. It’s a homemade natural solution, which may not be effective in your case.
Thus, I recommend paying attention to professional products that are not toxic for your pets but contain the ingredients harmful for ants.
There are many different ant killers products:
- ant traps (are the containers with the ant bait inside);
- ant gels (come in a tube with a syringe, so you apply to crack and crevices, where ants noticed);
- ant granules (more an outdoor solution);
- ant sprays (come as aerosols, that kill on contact and act as repellents).
What Makes Ant Killer Safe for Pets
Most ant killers I mentioned are based on natural ingredients, such as essential oils. They are safe for humans and pets but fatal to insects. On the example of cedar oil, I’ll explain how it works: most insects have octopamine neurotransmitters, which are responsible for regulating the insect’s behavior, moving, and heart rate.
Cedar oil blocks these receptors, repelling insects from the territory, and on contact with pests directly make them suffocate and die. Animals and insects driven by sight, do not have such neurotransmitters so that they won’t be affected by cedar oil.
Ant traps are safe for pets because the animals can’t get to the poison inside the bait. It may be dangerous for your four-legged friend only in case of swallowing the whole bait.
Do Pet Safe Ant Killers Work?
Yes, they work effectively against ants and, in many cases, against other insects as well. Most pet safe products contain essential oil extracts, which are non-toxic for humans and animals but are fatal for pests.
Is Boric Acid Safe for Pets?
Not really. Boric acid itself is not very toxic, but it might cause dangerous severe symptoms to your pet if it ingested or inhaled this substance. The smaller animal you have – the more severe problems you might get with your pet because of boric acid. When it gets inside, it decreases the acid balance in your pet’s body and can lead to renal, cardiovascular, or respiratory distress.
General symptoms of boric acid poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, physical distress, and disorientation. That is why boric acid should not be used in small applications, such as ant traps, if house pets have access to the treated area.
What to Do if Your Dog Eats Ant Bait?
If you noticed your dog eating ant bait or suspect it has eaten the bait before – you need to take urgent actions and not wait until symptoms of severe poisoning appear. You need to take your pet to the nearest vet clinic as soon as possible!
The order of the measures to take includes:
- take away your pet from the poisoned bait;
- don’t stimulate vomiting by yourself;
- write down or remember what exactly, how much, and when your dog ate something;
- call your vet and describe the symptoms (it will help the vet prepare the antidote before you arrive);
- if there’s a chance, take a sample of the bait with you to show the doctor.
What Are Your Thoughts About Pet Safe Ant Killers?
If you keep your house clean, but ants still choose your home as their refuge, the best solution is to use the proven methods to deal with them. Natural remedies do not always turn out to be effective, and getting rid of ants with their help is a difficult task. A large colony of these insects can build many nests in different places of the apartment, and finding them all will be difficult.
At the same time, some natural solutions like boric acid will be hazardous for your pets. So if you face such a problem as ant infestation – don’t waste your time and choose a quality product for pest control, which will be a pet-safe way to get rid of ants. In this article, I have given a short review of how the best pet safe ant killers work and how to use them correctly.
I hope my thoughts and advice were helpful, and that you’ll share your opinion with me. Have you tried any of the products from the list above to cope with ants in your house? Do you believe natural methods are sufficient in killing ants? I am waiting anxiously for your feedback.
- Studying how pathogens cause disease (U.S. Food & Drug Administration):
- D-Limonene: safety and clinical applications (National Library of Medicine National Center for Biotechnology Information):
- Octopamine-mediated neuromodulation of insect senses (National Library of Medicine National Center for Biotechnology Information):