What We Like
Clear bait liquid and container
Easy to use
What We Don't Like
Tab is difficult to twist off
Need to leave out for weeks
Only intended for indoor use
Ants can show up all year round. We even get them in our bathroom in the winter. However, these pests tend to intrude the most when the weather is hot and wet, and food and water is accessible. There are lots of products out there to help eliminate indoor ant infestations, which can occur anywhere in the home, depending on the type of ant.
Recently, we reviewed a top-rated ant killer, the TERRO Liquid Ant Baits, to determine just how effective it was at keeping the bugs at bay. We placed the clear, flat traps containing liquid bait around our home, where ants like to frequent our kitchen counters, tile floors, and the bathroom sink. Find out if we were able to successfully get rid of ants with the help of this product.
Performance: These ant baits actually work
This product’s active ingredient is sodium tetraborate decahydrate, but you probably know it by its other name: borax. The cleaning agent is also used against some insects. It works by luring ants with sweet-smelling (to the ants) but lethal bait, which they then carry back to the nest. The idea is to kill the ants slowly so that they have time to deliver the serum to the rest of the nest, including the queen, and exterminate the remaining ants.
Before using these baits, we would see an occasional ant on our kitchen counter pretty much any time we looked. They were even more prevalent if crumbs or uncovered food were left out in the kitchen or drops of toothpaste remained on the bathroom sink. No amount of cleaning stemmed their relentless tide, but we are happy to report that this product made a huge difference.
Since we were supposed to leave them out for weeks at a time, a translucent trap was visually more pleasant.
After setting these ant baits out in our kitchen and bathroom, we noticed an almost immediate uptick in ant activity. Don’t worry—that’s what’s supposed to happen. We saw the most visitors in the first few days, and then a steady stream continued for over a week, eventually trickling down in number until no ants were visible by two weeks.
For optimal results, the instructions say to avoid disturbing the influx of ants, as difficult as this may be, so that as many as possible come into contact with the lethal fluid.
Design: Sleek and effective
One of the most appealing aspects of this product is its compact, sleek design. The containers are small and unobtrusive enough to place just about anywhere ant activity is observed.
Before, we would see an occasional ant on our kitchen counter pretty much any time we looked. This product made a huge difference.
We liked that the clear plastic construction allowed us to easily see if the ants were coming to the traps and if the baits needed to be replaced. Since we were supposed to leave them out for weeks at a time, a translucent trap was visually more pleasant.
The same plus applies to the clear bait liquid. Though it didn’t draw attention, we could still tell when it ran out. The liquid is also odorless and stays in its container, so there is no mess.
Setup Process: Slightly tricky
This product is easy to set up, in theory: Simply twist to remove the tab, opening up a path for ants to access the bait, and then set the bait in the path of ant trails.
However, we found it was a little trickier in practice. The instructions say to simply grab the end with two fingers and turn until the tab snaps off. However, this did not happen easily for us and required a few tries. When the tabs did snap away, it was not with a clean break. Plus, it’s a little dicey to try and twist off the tabs while attempting to keep any liquid from spilling out.
After struggling to open a few of the baits in the instructed manner, we started simply snipping off the end with heavy-duty scissors, a method which worked very well. We then placed the baits in out-of-the-way spots.
We found that removing the tabs was a little trickier in practice.
For effective elimination, it is important to use multiple ant baits simultaneously. To be safe, we purchased the two-pack, each containing six baits, and placed four in the kitchen and four in the bathroom, behind the sink, along window sills and on the floor behind the shelves. (Note that the instructions say users should keep this product away from areas where food is handled or served and out of the reach of children and pets.)
We left them out for at least two weeks, as is recommended to get the pest problem under control. After a month, we started to see an occasional ant in the kitchen, so we replaced those baits (which were full of dead ants), but we haven’t yet needed to set out new baits in the bathroom. We’ll keep an eye out, though, as TERRO says to replace the baits every three months, and repeated use over time is supposed to help prevent and eradicate new infestations.
Price: Competitively priced
The price of the TERRO Liquid Ant Baits comes in around $12 for a two-pack containing six baits each. That’s around $1 apiece—well in line with (and at times, below) other brands.
Competition: TERRO stacks up well
Hot Shot MAXATTRAX Ant Bait2: In our opinion, the TERRO ant baits have a clear advantage on the Hot Shot MAXATTRAX baits. The latter is made with white opaque plastic, which obscures vision on the amount of bait liquid left in the trap and the number of ant visitors. The Hot Shot product comes in packs of four, which retail around $2-$5, so either one may be more economical, depending on where you buy.
AMDRO Kills Ants Ant Killing Bait: The AMDRO product is slightly cheaper, at about $5 for eight baits, compared to around $13 for 12 with the TERRO baits. They also offer versatility, since they’re suitable for easy outdoor and indoor use. However, the AMDRO’s clunkier design and white plastic enclosure give the TERRO baits the edge for interior use.
Want to take a look at some other options? Read through our best bug repellents article.
- Product Name Liquid Ant Baits
- Product Brand TERRO
- Price $12.99
- Weight 4.6 oz.
- Product Dimensions 1.2 x 6.6 x 4.5 in.
- What’s Included Two-pack of six baits, .36 ounces each
- Active Ingredient Sodium tetraborate decahydrate (5.4%)