Our Top Picks
Best Overall: TERRO T300 Liquid Ant Baits at Amazon
"A no-fail way to get rid of pesky household ants."
Best for Outdoors: TERRO Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits at Amazon
"Comes with small stakes that let users secure them in the ground."
Best Granules: Amdro Ant Block Bait at Amazon
"Reviewers love the easy application and lack of smell or residue."
Best Spray: Raid Ant & Roach Killer at Amazon
"It kills on contact, and residual effects can kill bugs weeks after."
Best Gel: Advion Ant Gel Insecticide at Amazon
"Is effective on almost all kinds of ants."
Best Eco-Friendly: Orange Guard Home Pest Control at Amazon
"A water-based spray that uses orange peel extract to ward off insects."
01 of 06
Best Overall: TERRO T300 Liquid Ant Baits
When you want a no-fail way to get rid of pesky household ants, reviewers say TERRO T300 Liquid Ant Baits are their go-to solution. Made with Borax and other ingredients, they are pre-filled and easy to use: You simply cut the top off each bait with a pair of scissors and place it in a spot where you’ve seen a lot of ants. The baits come in packs of six, and should be kept away from pets or small children.
It’s important to note that while ant baits are generally very effective, they need time to interfere with an ant’s digestive system; users may even initially see more ants before enough of the bait makes its way back to the colony. The manufacturer says the process can take up to two weeks, and it’s important to make sure they have nothing else to feast on, too. The vast majority of reviewers say these baits drastically reduced or eliminated their ant problem, and they love that there’s no smell or mess to deal with. Some do say that their ants ignored the bait, however, while a few others say the baits kept attracting ants but never actually stopped the onslaught.
02 of 06
Best for Outdoors: TERRO Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits
If you’d rather try to kill ants outdoors before using pesticides inside the house, consider giving TERRO Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits a shot. Like their indoor counterparts, these outdoor baits use Borax as the active ingredient and come pre-filled and ready to use. They should also be kept away from pets and small children.
TERRO Outdoor baits come with small stakes that let users secure them in the ground where they’ve observed ants, preferably close to where they’re entering a home. The baits are also weather-proof, so no need to worry about rain, wind, or other interference. Like other slow-kill methods, these baits don’t provide immediate relief: It could take up to a couple of weeks for most ants to die. As with all baits, a minority of reviewers say they don’t work for their particular ants, and some also complain that the bait containers are flimsy.
03 of 06
Best Ant Bait Granules: Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait
If you’ve got a wide-ranging ant problem or you’re just not sure where your ants are coming from, spreading some granules like Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait Granules around your house can help get the problem under control. The active ingredient is hydramethylnon, a chemical pesticide that shouldn’t be used around children, pets, livestock or gardens where food is grown. The granules kill 15 different ant species.
Amdro Ant Block can simply be spread directly from the container, though the granules shouldn’t be used on wet ground, if rain is in the forecast, or if it’s below 50 degrees outside. A 24-ounce container can cover about 1,080 linear feet. Since the granules are bait, Amdro may take up to two weeks to kill the majority of an ant colony. Reviewers love the easy application and lack of smell or residue, but some say their ants ignored the granules.
04 of 06
Best Spray: Raid Ant & Roach Killer
Ant baits can be an effective solution against ants long-term, but they require some patience. If you don’t have any, or just want the satisfaction of killing ants on contact, it’s hard to go wrong with a classic can of Raid Ant & Roach Killer. The active ingredients are imiprothrin and cypermethrin, two common chemical pesticides. Raid recommends spraying away from people, pets, food and dishes; washing hands after use; and of course, making sure the product isn’t ingested.
Raid is super-simple to use: Shake the can, hold it upright, and spray it about 18 inches from the surface where you’ve seen insects. It kills on contact, and residual effects can kill bugs as long as four weeks after spraying, Raid says. Users agree that this spray does a great job immediately killing bugs, and they like that the smell is minimal and quick to fade. However, some grouse that the lingering effects are minimal, and nowhere near the four weeks Raid claims, so it might not be the best long-term solution.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Best Gel: Advion Ant Gel Insecticide
If you have a serious ant infestation, it might be time to spend a little more money on a professional-grade solution like Advion Ant Gel. This insecticide is effective on almost all kinds of ants and the active ingredient is Indoxacarb, a chemical pesticide developed by DuPont. Like most pesticides, it should be kept away from children and pets who may try to ingest it, and users should avoid contact with skin, eyes, or clothing.
The gel comes preloaded in an applicator tube, and reviewers say most users won’t need to use the entire tube since the gel is quite strong. As with the TERRO baits, Advion gel should be applied near any ant trails and won’t work immediately – ants need time to swarm the gel and take it back to the colony. Reviewers like that it’s easy to squeeze into cracks where ants come into a house, and they say it won’t drip when applied vertically. They also say there’s minimal smell. However some say it simply didn’t attract their ants, or it attracted more ants but didn’t kill them.
06 of 06
Best Eco-Friendly: Orange Guard Home Pest Control
Whether you have a crawling baby or a curious canine, in some households, potentially poisonous insecticides are a no-go. In those cases, a more eco-friendly solution like Orange Guard Home Pest Control is a must. This is a water-based spray that uses orange peel extract to ward off insects including ants, and it’s safe to use around food, kids and pets.
It’s simple to use Orange Guard: Just spray it on surfaces where you’ve seen ants. Insects are killed on contact and can stay away for up to several weeks (though reviewers are divided on how long – some say they need to reapply every few days). Many users like the citrus scent, but some say they feel it is too strong. Some also warn that it can leave a slightly sticky residue, and while it’s easy enough to wipe up, that might reduce its effectiveness against insects.
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
We bought three top-rated ant killers that our reviewers tested for over 180 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these ant killers, from their design to their effectiveness. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in an Ant Killer
Type Different species of ants are attracted to different things — namely sugar or grease. To determine what type of ants you have and what kind of ant killer you need, place both items in a room and see where the ants go. If they’re attracted to the sweet stuff, pick an ant killer suitable for sugar ants; If the ants are attracted to grime, pick one suitable for grease ants.
Indoor vs. outdoor Many ant killers can be used both inside and outdoors. Always check the label, though — some stronger ant killers may be too potent for indoor use while some household products may not hold up to the elements outside.
Safety If you have pets or young children, opt for ant traps because they’re more contained than sprays and granules.
Test Results: TERRO T300 Liquid Ant Baits (Best Overall)
What We Like
Easy to use
What We Don't Like
Has to be left out for weeks
Difficult to open
“This is a good option for indoor ant bait traps,” our tester declared. She particularly liked the compact size. “These can easily be slid into ant prone areas and have a sleek, clear design that makes them blend into any environment,” she revealed. In terms of negatives, our reviewer wished opening the tab to get to the product was easier. She also noted you have to leave the bait out for a couple of weeks for it to fully work. Bottom line? “This product works well to kill indoor ants,” she said.
Test Results: TERRO Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits (Best for Outdoors)
What We Like
Effectively kills ants before they come inside
Easy to use
What We Don't Like
Stakes can be tricky to put up
Bait can spill out during installation
Our tester found TERRO’s outdoor liquid ant baits to be an effective way to kill ants before they enter the home. “The best parts of these baits are their simple, ease of use and unobtrusive, relatively attractive design,” she explained. On the flip side, she revealed, “The negative attributes of this product are that the bait liquid can spill out of the container during installation and the stakes can be hard to put in.” In the end, though, our tester recommended it as a great ant solution: “It is a good and easy-to-use ant bait at a reasonable price that offers long-lasting ant-fighting potency.”
Test Results: Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait (Best Granules)
What We Like
Effectively targets entire ant nest
What We Don't Like
Instructions aren’t specific
Toxic to animals
“I think this product is a good option,” our tester said. “It has the advantage of defending a home against ant entry all the way around the perimeter of the house.” The negatives? “It's easy to over-pour and the user must determine exactly how much product to put down in the circle around the house.” Our reviewer also cautioned that it’s toxic to animals. Still, she found it to be an “effective remedy for ant infestation prevention and treatment.”