Few pests are as frustrating or annoying as ants. Often, unless there is a line of them entering your home via an obvious crack, it is difficult to determine where, exactly, they are coming from. Once they are in, the smaller ones swarm in any place with even trace amounts of food material. Larger ants can be more of a nuisance, especially if they sting or bite. Of course, any ant has the potential to set up shop behind the walls of your home. If it is a wood-eating species, such as carpenter ants, your home could be in jeopardy. For serious infestations, you will need a professional pest company. However, this type of service can be expensive. For the occasional swarm or lone line of ants, investing in the best ant traps may suffice.
Things to consider
Ant traps use a variety of means to kill ants. For instance, some are prepacked and ready to go. Others, however, require you to purchase ant bait. Once you buy the ant bait, you put it in the trap and set the trap out for the ants.
Ant bait is poisonous. As such, it presents a hazard to pets and children. Regarding pets, you should purchase a trap prepackaged with non-food-based bait. If you must purchase bait, you should select a non-food-based, non-sweet bait. Additionally, if you find one that is both colorless and odorless, dogs and other pets will be less likely to take any interest.
The Best Ant Traps For Different Ant Types
Different ant traps target the eating cycles of ants. For instance, some ants cycle through a time of day during which they seek out sugar. In other cycles, they seek out protein. Ant traps that come with pre-packaged bait will list the type of bait it contains and explain if it targets protein or sugar cycles.
If, however, you must purchase bait, it is best to select a mix of sugar-cycle bait and protein-cycle bait. In doing so, you can set different traps in different locations, and you can then forget about them. Eventually, the ants will find one trap or another. When they do, they will take the poisoned food back to the colony where the feasting will begin.
Ten Best Ant Traps Reviewed
The Terro T300B is a compact, ant-killing reservoir. This particular bait comes in a two-pack, and each trap consists of a small, tubular container. The entrance to this container is large enough for ants to freely enter and exit. Inside the container is a large pool of liquid ant bait. When one ant feeds off the bait, it takes it back to the colony. As others eat the foraged poison, eventually, the entire colony becomes sick. Then they will die. The only effort on your part is to unscrew the cap and place the container in a place where ants will find it.
Note: as ants visit the bait trap, the poison will eventually be depleted. As such, monitoring is required.
- easy to use
- kills the entire colony
- can take a couple weeks to kill the colony
The Terro T1812-2 ant-killing stakes are stake-traps designed to hold poison in the upper basin. This poison is then distributed to the ants via a variety of holes. To ensure the poison lasts for an extended period of time, each side of the basin can hold up to 1/4 cup.
At 6 inches in length, a single stake remains underground at a depth sufficient for ants to find it and feed in the holes. Because the stake is made of hardened plastic, it is resistant to heat and cold and the cracking that might result from either. However, if you are going to place it in the yard, each stake needs to be out of the way of lawn mowers or other hazards. Additionally, if you place it near your home’s foundation, it needs to be out of the way of gutter drains or spilling water.
To fill the stake, simply unsnap it. Liquid, granules, or paste will fit within the basin. Once the basin is filled, all you have to do is snap the sides back into place. With the stake ready, you can use your foot to easily press it into the ground.
- works with a variety of poison types
- long lasting
- does not come with poison
In the same way people must keep squirrels out of their bird-seed feeders, it is important to keep ants out of your hummingbird feeders. For instance, no matter where you hang a hummingbird feeder, the sugary water attracts ants. However, this ant moat allows you to create a barrier between the stem of the hummingbird feeder and the feeder body. All you have to do is hang the trap at the upper base of the feeder–and fill it with vegetable oil.
After it is filled with vegetable oil, ants can walk up the tree or pole arm and reach the basin. However, no matter where they walk, they still have to cross the oil. Once they do, they get stuck, struggle, and drown. When the oil is gone or if the surface is layered in ants, simply re-fill it or clean it, respectively.
- easy to install and maintain
- will not bother hummingbirds
- must monitor in hot weather
- requires cleaning
This is another ant moat for hummingbird feeders. It is stylish and cast in copper, so it will look good as it does its job. Additionally, it is strong enough for a variety of small, mid-size, and large feeders. All you have to do is hang the moat on a pole arm. With the moat in place, you can then attach the bird feeder to the moat. With the entire device in place, you simply need to fill the moat with vegetable oil.
You can clean the moat with a damp rag or spray bottle filled with soapy water. For the best results, you should hang the feeder and the moat low enough that you can see inside it without having to step up on a step stool. Additionally, you will want to remove the moat from the pole arm prior to cleaning.
- easy to clean
- easy to fill and maintain
- small basin
The Terro T3206 traps are designed to capture a variety of insects, including ants, spiders, and crickets. In terms of ants, it will catch any type, so it is particular good if you have fire-ant problems.
For instance, the trap consists of a single piece of card stock coated with an extremely sticky residue. To set the trap, you simply fold the card stock at the pre-scored corners and fold it into the shape of a box. As you fold the box, you will need to ensure the sticky residue remains on the inside of the box. Finally, with the box folded, you simply need to set the box in a corner or along a baseboard.
The folded trap is approximately 4 inches in length. Once folded, it serves as a tunnel, and as the insects walk into the tunnel, they will step onto the residue. Once they step onto the residue, they will be unable to extract themselves.
Each package comes with four traps, which provides enough for each corner of a room.
Note: the residue is very sticky. As such, you should handle with care.
- very effective
- easy to set
- once filled, the boxes can be unsightly
- must be thrown away when full
The Enforcer is a bait trap consisting of a variety of stations that contain ant bait. With the best ant traps, simple is often best, and the enforcer is easy to set up. The bait attracts the ants. The ants eat the bait. Them the ants die.
The poison kills a variety of ants, including argentine ants, pharaoh ants, and cornfield ants. The poison is a long-lasting poison that kills the entire colony via breeding.
Each station is child-resistant.
- kills entire colony
- child-resistant packaging
Note: even through the packaging is child-resistant, you must keep children away from these traps.
These outdoor, liquid-bait stakes by Terro are designed to feed ants via the ventricles located on either side of the stakes. To deploy the traps, you need simply to press them into the ground, using the heel of your shoe. For proper protection, ensure the upper base of the stake remains above ground. Ideally, you should be able to see the graduated window on the side of the stake.
The two-pack comes, each, with eight stakes, so you can surround your entire house at equal intervals. Additionally, the stakes can be used around gardens or BBQ pits. Although many baits are designed for a specific breed of ants, these bait stakes are designed to kill ants in general, making them one of the best ant traps for universal ant species. That said, they work primarily on common black ants.
Because the stakes are weather proof, the bait will not dissolve during the rain and leach into the ground. Finally, the bait is slow-acting, ensuring it is still potent when the ants bring the bait back and offer it to their queen.
- kills the colony
- wide stake design for easy ground penetration
- does not kill on contact
This ant killer by Maxforce Quantum is a liquid bait with .03 percent imidacloprid, an effective ant poison that will spell doom for a variety of ants. It offers three months of indoor or outdoor protection, and as with many baits, it is long-lasting. As a result, once the ants take it back to the colony, it will eventually kill all the ants.
Unlike many liquid baits, this bait is both colorless and odorless, so you will not have to worry about any foul, chemical odors wafting in through the windows or out of your closets. The packet comes with ten bait stations that serve as cups. One bottle contains 120 grams, so you have enough liquid to stock enough traps for your entire home.
- powerful ant killer
Note: the traps are loose standing, so they can be knocked over.
The Home Plus ant-killing stations are self-enclosed bait stations that allow ants to enter via two opposing entrances. The bait is contained within the enclosure, and it sets to work immediately. However, it also is a time-release poison, which allows the ants enough time to haul the food back to the colony where it, eventually, will kill them all.
In terms of usability, it is designed for indoor and outdoor use. Regarding homes with small children, although the traps are child-resistant, it is not advised that children be allowed to touch these containers.
The active ingredient in these bait traps is abamectin B1, a powerful poison for a variety of ants, including carpenter ants and fire ants.
- kills worker ants within 24 hours
- more time required to kill entire colony
- might require multiple stations
These bait stations are slender stakes that penetrate the ground and target ants at the colony. For instance, the bait can be placed into the upper reservoir. However, the stake contains several holes through which ants can feed. Placed near the colony, the bait will attract ants underground.
Each stake is made of durable plastic. They are weather-resistant, so the poison remains fresh for a long time. Regarding poison types, you can use either a liquid bait or granule. In either case, it is important to wear gloves, so your hands do not come in contact with the poison as you fill the traps.
To deploy, gently press the filled trap into soft soil. For best results, you should position the trap near a colony. If you do not know the colony’s whereabouts, you should deploy the stakes near known paths. However, for safety, you should position the stakes in low-traffic areas, away from places pets or children play.
- works with liquid or granule bait
- requires you to fill the cups