It can be very helpful to have the right knowledge for a better understanding of ants and the products used to kill them. However, it can be hard to find the right information quickly. For that reason, we have listed some commonly asked questions concerning ant poison to help further educate you on the topic.
What’s the difference between ant poison and ant repellent?
There is a big difference between ant poison and repellent. An ant repellent works to deter or repel ants and other insects from coming into your home. Ant repellents are often used to create barriers or perimeters that keep ants out and prevent larger problems.
Ant poisons don’t just keep ants away; they kill them. Some ant poisons work at the point of contact, such as a spray that kills a group of ants on your counter. Other ant poisons work by eliminating an entire colony rather than the small amount you see.
If you’re having a continuous ant problem, you’ll probably want to go for an ant poison that targets a colony.
How does a poison eliminate a colony?
Ant poisons, often in the form of bait or bait stations, work because of the ants’ social system. Different ants within a colony have different jobs. The female worker ants leave the anthill and find food. When they find food, they bring it back to feed others—including the queen. They also lead more workers back to the food source for more.
Baits and poisons play off of this system. Baits are designed to attract ants. Using various active ingredients, the baits poison the ants. These poisons work slowly, killing the ants over a couple of days. Since the poison works slowly, the ants have time to go back and distribute the poison to the colony, as well as lead more ants to the poison.
At first, you will definitely see more ants than you had. Don’t be alarmed—that means it’s working. Shortly after that, usually within two weeks, the colony should be eliminated along with your ant problem.
Should assorted products be used for different ants?
While many products will work for various kinds of ants and even other insects, like our reviewed Terro Granular Ant Killer Plus, certain kinds of ants should be targeted with more specific poisons.
For example, a sweet liquid bait station won’t do any good against carpenter ants, as they are interested in wood and not sweet things. In the same way, fire ants do not typically run towards sweet items and may not be attracted to a sweet bait.
Carpenter ants, like termites, like to eat through wooden structures. They can dig all sorts of tunnels in your wood, making them hard to reach. For a problem like this, you may want to find a poison that specifically targets carpenter ants.
It is very important to pay attention to whether a product is specified as being outdoor, indoor, or both. Some outdoor products are only intended to be used outside of the house due to their formulas and ingredients.
Likewise, other products work best inside the house, such as indoor bait stations. Be sure to pick a product that will work best for your situation.