Ants are definitely worth our attention. These insects are intelligent, they communicate using pheromones, and the population of their colonies is divided into castes. Moreover, ant is probably the only insect type spread around the whole planet Earth. Still, there’s nothing cool about ants when they appear in your kitchen.
Speaking about indoor ant invasion, not only house owners struggle with ant invasions, but also apartment residents fight these minor creatures. The problem is these insects are not as easy to get rid of as it seems at first.
Small insects race back and forth, build anthills and constantly carry something into them. What should you do? Pound the alarm and try to destroy the unwanted guests or accept the situation and share food with them? Well, the answer is quite straightforward unless we talk about the garden ants.
There are hundreds of methods and thousands of treatments to get rid of these minor bad guys, and ant traps are a rather controversial way to fight them. Some people say that ant traps are the best cure to liquidate the ant colony quickly and easily, while others complain about the short-lasting effect. However, depending on the structure and the main ingredient, these devices can help you to get rid of insects permanently quite fast.
There are also several ant traps types that you have to know about before making a purchase:
Liquid Bait Traps
This is the most popular ant trap type today.
How they work: The ingredients inside the trap produce a special scent that attracts the insects. After ants feed on the poison, they become biological time-bombs. If ants find any food, they usually return to their colony to inform others. Don’t forget that ants communicate using special secretion, and it means that they spread the infection to the whole nest. One ant can poison 10-20 of its tribesmen. So, the ants will continue to eat the bait until they die. This process usually lasts up to 3-5 days, depending on the number of pests in your home.
These baits are good for using both indoors and outdoors as long as they’re placed into plastic containers. They don’t get spoiled by rain, snow or sun rays.
Dusted Ant Traps
These traps come in powder or granule forms.
How they work: In fact, powder or granule ant traps aren’t quite the traps you might think about. These are dry poisons, that are extremely useful in ant hills, cracks and crevices of your house or crawl spaces. Due to the sifty form, you can put these traps in the most hard-to-reach places.
Powders and granules usually have the same delayed effect that liquid baits do, but sometimes, they have the active poison in their formula to kill the pests immediately. These types are actually the best outdoor ant traps because they can be applied directly to anthills or other places of their accumulation so that you prevent the ant invasion in your house.
Immediate Killer Ant Traps
These kinds of traps are quite ineffective when you have a big ant colony in your apartment, but for individual cases, they seem like the best ant traps for home.
How they work: They are equipped with special sticky tapes, electricity or active poison. Once the insect got to the trap, the death comes quickly.
In defense of these traps, I’d say that they serve as best ant traps for big black ants which are mostly known as carpenter ants.
Before you rush to the shop to get treatment for your problem, let’s see which ants are mostly like to appear in your house or garden.
Identify Your Target
The ant family is diverse and has a large variety of species and subspecies. For now, we will take a look at the most widespread species.
Home or indoor ants spoil food or even your furniture. If you’re dealing with ants who destroy wood, these are probably carpenter ants. This type of ants doesn’t eat the material, they build nests in them. Carpenters are quite big creatures usually of black or dark brown color.
Sugar ants or sweet-eating ants mostly known as Pharaoh ants. These pests are most likely to show up in your kitchen on a tiny spot of peanut butter or any other yum. Pharaohs are pretty clever and hide their colonies well. Sometimes, the anthill can be located outside your house, but it doesn’t decrease the level of a problem. Sweet-eaters are tiny, mostly of black color. There are also brown sugar-eaters and yellow-tailed ants.
Outdoor ant species are probably the same. However, if indoor ants are disgusting, their outside relatives can be even profitable for gardeners. Ants are predators, and if you have found the small black garden ant near the plants you grow, there’s no need to worry. Garden ants are your comrades in protecting the green stuff. They eat other insects who might destroy the harvest, and that’s why you don’t need to get rid of them.
Have you already recognized who you deal with? Let’s get ready for the ant fight.
What Are the Best Ant Traps to Use?
Now, considering everything you’ve already learned about these minor nuisances, it’s time to see what are the best ant traps for your home and outdoor area.
Best Liquid bait Ant Traps
- TERRO PreFilled Liquid Ant Killer II Baits
- Terro T1812-2 Outdoor Liquid Ant Killer Bait Stakes
- Advance 375a Select Granular Ant Bait
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- Catchmaster 72MAX Pest Trap
- Terro 3200 Spider Traps 4 in a package
1. Terro Liquid Ant Baits
Terro Ant Bait is the most recommended product to liquidate the ants. I’ve already reviewed this product earlier, so you can just check the article on Terro baits for more details.
Terro baits are known as the best ant traps for sugar ants. These baits come in small, handy containers so you can use them both indoors and outdoors.
Similar to many other pesticides for ants fighting, Terro Ant Bait has a delayed effect. Its poisonous element is called borax, and this is what makes ants feed on it. Borax is a natural mineral element, the product of seasonal drying of salt lakes.
Poisoned ants return to their nests and infect their mates, which makes it easy to control a large number of pests. The bait is sweet-tasting, so it is mostly used for Pharaoh ants. Usually, it takes up to 3 days to wipe out the whole colony.
2. Grants Indoor Ant Traps (no longer available, these from Terro are great replacement for outdoors)
Like Terro, Grants ant traps fight an entire colony or a nest of ants in just several days. The liquid bait is also put into the mini-stations. Despite its name, the bait also works outside the house.
One advantage the Grants baits have is that they’re also used against carpenter ants, unlike the Terro product.
Best Dusted Ant Traps
3. Advance 375a granules
Advance 375a granules bait is a strong delayed-action insect treatment. The effect is similar to liquid baits, but, as you already know, granules are more useful in slots, cracks, and other hard-to-reach places.
The manufacturer claims that Advance 375a works best against Odorous House, Crazy, Little Black, Argentine, and Pavement ants. These are partly protein-addicted ants, who can feed on meat, dead or alive insect bodies (the ant cannibals? eww), and greasy foods. Luckily, these ants also like sweet yummies, so the bait is quite useful for a large variety of species.
4. AMDRO Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait Granules
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AMDRO Ant Bait is considered to be an efficient carpenter ant bait trap. It works mostly outdoors and is used as a prophylaxis against the carpenters invasion. Place granules around your home to create a block for carpenter ants, so they won’t get inside. You can also place it near fruit trees to protect them from destroying.
If the problem is already inside, check the indoor AMDRO products to get rid of the insects.
In case you deal with carpenter ants, check my review of the best carpenter ant killers.
Best Immediate Killer Ant Traps
5. Catchmaster 72MAX Pest Trap
The Catchmaster traps are simple glue sticks that provide quick results. To achieve the best effect, place a little food inside to attract the ants to the trap. Catchmaker traps are, in fact, useful for a small amount of insects. What makes these traps great is that they’re suitable for any ant species. Moreover, they are also pet and child-friendly. If your domestic darlings somehow clung the sticky thing, you can use any oil to remove it.
6. Terro Spider & Insect Traps
These Terro traps are also sticky glue traps, which are intended to capture and kill a large number of insects. As you already guessed, these traps are useful for cases when you struggle with several insect types in your house. Terro Spider & Insect Traps work the same way as Catchmasters, and are non-toxic as well.
Ant Traps Buyer Guide
With so many ant trap choices on the market, it is rather difficult to define the best ant traps. That’s why I’ve created this buyer guide to walk you through the important questions you need to answer before getting the perfect ant trap.
Where is Your Problem?
This one is simple. If you notice the pests inside the house, get the best ant traps for indoor use. If the problem is outside, get the most effective treatment for outdoor usage.
What Ants Are You Dealing With?
Consider the type of ant you’re trying to get rid of. For example, if you’re having problems with carpenter ants, any non-repellent baits and traps are your best choices.
Sugar ants are here for sweets, so get them a sweet-tasting bait or use a sticky trap with a little surprise inside.
Decide which trap you need. There are non-pesticide, pet-friendly, or strong insecticide baits to use. If you have pets or kids, your best match are the traps with no active chemicals.
How to Use Ant Traps Correctly?
As with any other pest control treatment or tool, there are a lot of recommendations and guidelines that you should follow to stay safe and get the highest efficiency of the insecticide products. Here are a few tips:
- Discover where the ants are most likely to appear. They usually prefer the kitchen and bathrooms. Locate the most common ant trails, and put the traps on their way.
- Always check the bait stations. Once they’ve been consumed, put a fresh one quickly, until the ants haven’t found a new food source.
- Check the sticky traps as well. When they’re full, place new traps to make sure you exterminated all pests.
- Don’t use several trap types in one place. Of course, you want the fastest result the treatments can give, but believe me, if you put bait traps and granule traps at the same place, you won’t achieve anything but product misuse.
- Always learn about what you purchase. For example, if you need an outdoor trap, it is better to get a water-resistant, or sticky-sided traps, so they won’t be affected by precipitation or winds.
- Make sure to clean all other possible food sources near the ant traps. The less food is available, the more ants will feed on the baits and traps.
- Protect yourself. Wear disposable gloves and face-masks when you interact with any kind of insecticide, especially with granules and powders.
What Are Other Ant Exterminators to Acknowledge?
What else you can use to get rid of the ants? Well, the choice is huge. There are ant sprays, aerosols, gels, and hundreds of other ant killers that may be useful in a particular case. But as for me, after fighting with ants for almost half of a lifetime, the bait traps are the best option existing. They have a fast, long-lasting effect that makes your problem gone forever.
There are also professional exterminator and pest control agencies, who can solve your problem in the shortest period of time. But, trust me, they probably use the same ant traps that you can find quite in any online or offline store.
Ant traps are also quite economical. A pack might cost up to $6 and give the best result in 3 days with only 1-2 traps consumed. By the way, if you’re into DIY, you can also make the ant trap by yourself.
How to Make the Ant Trap: a DIY Guide
Self-made traps are sometimes as good as purchased products. They can be no less effective if you make a quality trap and use the right amount of poison.
The simplest trap for ants includes boric acid mixed with a fresh egg. Put the bait into the bottle caps or matchboxes and place them wherever you need.
There’s also a variation of this recipe. Simply use honey instead of the egg, and follow the same algorithm. But be careful with the honey amount you use. If you mix more than a 0,5 tsp, the effect might be gone.
These methods work similarly to the most liquid bait traps. They also provide a delayed effect, so when the insect gets poison, it will bring it to the nest to infect other mates.
Your unwelcome guests are also scared off by the smell of mint, shag, bay leaf, wormwood, cloves, and garlic. Sprinkle or grease the strong-smelling ingredients to the ant trails, slots, holes, cracks, and crevices.
How to Prevent the Ant Infestation
Now, you know what are the best 6 ant traps to try if you’re struggling with the ants invasion. Nevertheless, it is better to stave off the opportunity of pests appearance, than to find them crawling in your kitchen.
There are several rules you should follow to keep the ants off your house and neighborhood:
- Do not leave dirty dishes on the table and in the kitchen sink.
- Get rid of the garbage and trash sources in time.
- Wash the floors adding ammonia and special washing chemicals.
- Ants do not like the smell of sunflower oil and kerosene. Therefore, you can also use these products as prophylaxis methods.
To get rid of garden ants, you need to find out the reason for their appearance.
The first danger alert are aphids. The presence of these inhabitants of the garden precedes the appearance of garden ants. The waste products of aphids are a source of sweet carbohydrates for ants to feed on. In order to expand their food sources, ants can move aphids to other plants, providing them with food and protecting them from other insects.
The use of chemicals is not always the right treatment for the gardens since they can infuse toxic substances when you process cultivated plants.
There are many verified recipes that are harmless for the plants and fruits. This treatment will help get rid of aphids, who are the main source of garden ants.
The easiest and safest way is to use is a soap suspension. As you may know, aphid breathes through the skin, and the soap layer will block the insect access to oxygen. The recipe is quite simple: you have to mix 0.1 liters of liquid soap with 10 liters of water. Spray the affected plants every morning and evening for a week.
Fighting an invasion of ants is a rather difficult mission. But if you work hard considering all the rules and using the best ant traps, you can achieve the desired result quickly and keep it for a long time.
Best Ant Traps Review Summary
Ant traps are probably the most effective and useful ways to deal with an ant infestation. Usually, these are simple poison baits of almost any kind that include a slow-acting insecticide.
To find a perfect ant trap is a quite long process since there are so many of them on the market. But I hope that with my guides and reviews, you will quickly figure out which traps work the best for your ant invasion case. Follow the guidelines in the buyer’s guide above to learn which product you need, and don’t forget about the reviews. Once again, the top 6 best ant traps are:
Best Liquid bait Ant Traps
Best Dusted Ant Traps
Best Immediate Killer Ant Traps
DIY methods are also cool if you don’t like to mess with insecticides or poisons. Just follow the recipe I gave you or try any other one you like. Luckily, the Internet gives us a large variety of ant treatment methods.
If you have read this article to find a solution to prevent the ant invasion, I bet you found something useful to try. Don’t forget the main rule: clean apartment means no insects. The more often you do the cleaning, the fewer insects will visit you.
If you’re dealing with an outside ant infestation, the first thing to figure out is whether its dangerous. Personally, I think that the ants in your garden aren’t a big problem as long as they don’t destroy trees or harm plants. But, if you noticed any of these symptoms, don’t rush to sprinkle poison everywhere you see. Follow the guides and basic ant trap applying rules to get the best result.
- Household ant invasions are determined by weather, not pesticide use, new study finds (Mark Shwartz Stanford University):
- Identifying household ants (Michael Merchant, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Urban Entomologist, Texas AgriLife Extension Service):
- Controlling Fire Ants in Vegetable Gardens (Alabama Cooperative Extension System):
- 1 Liquid Bait Traps
- 2 Dusted Ant Traps
- 3 Immediate Killer Ant Traps
- 4 Identify Your Target
- 5 What Are the Best Ant Traps to Use?
- 6 Best Liquid bait Ant Traps
- 7 Best Dusted Ant Traps
- 8 Best Immediate Killer Ant Traps
- 9 Ant Traps Buyer Guide
- 10 How to Use Ant Traps Correctly?
- 11 What Are Other Ant Exterminators to Acknowledge?
- 12 How to Make the Ant Trap: a DIY Guide
- 13 How to Prevent the Ant Infestation
- 14 Best Ant Traps Review Summary