What We Like
Easy to use and store
Effective ant killer
Targets entire ant nest
What We Don't Like
Instructions don’t detail exact quantity
Not safe around pets
From the moment we moved into our house four years ago, ants have been a sporadic visitor. Usually, I spot lone scouts on the kitchen counter, but occasionally there is a swarm. The other night, I itched my arm, and my fingers came away with a crushed ant. That was my tipping point. I’d tried various pest treatments to keep them at bay, but never a product that targeted the entire colony. Now, I was ready.
As I’ve learned, ants are a pest that keeps coming, particularly in the warmer months. No matter how well a house is sealed or cleaned (it helps but doesn’t eliminate them), these armies of insects will find a way inside if left unchecked. Enter ant killers like AMDRO Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait. This product is intended to bait and kill ants before they can invade a consumer’s home. To see how well (and how long) it actually works, I surrounded the exterior of our Portland, Oregon, home with the granules, which look like cornmeal and are odorless to humans but smell like food to ants. Find out if the barrier stopped ants from coming inside and eliminated the infestation outside.
Performance: Keeps ants out
The active ingredient in this ant killer is hydramethylnon, a chemical compound designed to control insects. It works by enticing worker ants to pick up the granules and carry them back to the nest for the queen and colony to feed on. This kills the queen and the other ants, causing the colony to collapse.
The only trick was figuring out how much product needs to be sprinkled. Ultimately, I just had to wing it and use my judgment.
Surrounding the home with the granules creates a barrier that poisons any ants attempting to cross. Ants start dying in as little as 24 hours. Each application of the product is intended to be effective for three months and withstand the elements.
In my experience, after a day or two, I noticed a drastic decrease in ants inside the home, a respite that I continue to enjoy two months post-treatment. A few weeks in, I did start to see an ant or two, suggesting that the entire colony has not yet collapsed—but the frequency has decreased significantly.
Design: Pours a bit fast
The granules come in a straightforward plastic-handled bottle. A circular nozzle offers two options from which to pour the granules: One side has a larger spout and the other a sprinkler-style opening (picture the caps on your cooking spices) to reduce the flow of product.
When dispersing the granules around our home, I found that both sides tended to dump out too much if I wasn’t careful—but using the shower side gave me greater control.
The granules are golden yellow and the texture of thick cornmeal. They have no discernible smell and are dry, so unlike the liquid baits out there, with this product, there is no sticky, poisonous mess.
Setup Process: Easy but instructions are a bit unclear
I found this product very easy to use. It took me just minutes to open the bottle and line a track around the perimeter of the house. Once applied, the product stayed in place, protecting the home from ants for months at a time.
The only trick was figuring out just how much product needs to be sprinkled. The instructions recommended a 1-foot-wide band, but finding the balance between sparse coverage and too much coverage is a bit challenging. Ultimately, I just had to wing it and use my judgment on what seemed to be enough.
After a day or two, I noticed a drastic decrease in ants inside the home, a respite that I continue to enjoy two months post-treatment.
Another caveat is that the product can’t be applied on wet ground or when heavy rains are in the near forecast, so I had to wait for a relatively dry day to apply. Also, the granules are not safe for pets, so they shouldn’t be applied in areas where pets (or, for that matter, small children) will be running free. They are also not safe for human consumption, so do not put granules down near vegetable gardens.
Though the list price is $18.45, this product can usually be found for around $7 a bottle. I’d say that’s fair for three months of protection around a structure with a maximum perimeter of 540 linear feet. Similar products come in at a similar price.
AMDRO Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait vs. TERRO Ant Killer Plus
Both of these ant killers purportedly work the same way (slow-acting ant bait poisons the entire colony) and require a similar application (sprinkle the perimeter of the home with bait).
The AMDRO product retains its potency for a full three months, while the TERRO product does not make a similar claim. Both start killing ants within 24 hours and can be applied along a perimeter as well as directly on any ant hills.
A 3-pound bag of TERRO sells for $7.49 on the manufacturer site, while the AMDRO Bait is usually marked down around $7 for 12 ounces, making the competitor more cost-effective. However, the Ant Killer Plus calls for a wider band t (3 to 5 feet) around the home versus the 1 foot required by the AMDRO product. This indicates that users do not need as much product to reach the same desired result.
The TERRO granules come in a resealable bag, complete with a shaker at the top and handle at the bottom. In terms of ease of application, this packaging may have a leg up on the AMDRO bottle, but I like that the sturdy plastic bottle is easier to store and less messy than the TERRO bag.
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Solid ant defense
The AMDRO Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait seemed to work as intended, effectively poisoning any ants that attempted to cross the barrier I created around our home—as well as the rest of the colony in the nests. Though the application instructions were a bit unclear, I appreciated that this product offered long-lasting treatment against ants and was economical to buy.
- Product Name Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait
- Product Brand AMDRO
- Price $18.45
- Weight 12 oz.
- Product Dimensions 4.2 x 3 x 8.2 in.
- Active Ingredient Hydramethylnon (.88%)
- Model Number 100099307