When pesky ants invade, multiple products are available to get rid of them. But when you have a cat or dog in the house, finding pet safe ant killers is crucial. The last thing you want is for your pet to ingest toxic substances found in many pest killers. You’ll want to rely on effective pet safe ant killers.
Keep reading to learn how you can get rid of ants without worrying about your pets getting into anything that may harm them. Let’s dig in.
Is Spraying for Ants Safe for Pets?
Spraying for ants can be harmful to pets and humans. It depends on what type of spray you use. So, there are a couple of things to consider.
Do some research before spraying on your own. If you hire a pest control company, ask if they have pet-safe products. Also, find out exactly which products they’ll be using. You also want to ensure they’re safe for you and others in your household.
Pest control services can typically use safe mixtures. However, if they spray it, they may require you and your pets to leave the house for a certain amount of time.
How Do You Get Rid of Ants Without Harming Your Pets?
There are several pet safe ant killers on the market. We share five methods that work well coming up in this article. The bottom line is that getting rid of ants without harming your pets is possible. But you need to be vigilant, read labels for the active ingredients, and ensure that what you’re putting on the ground or your counters to kill ants is within reach of your cat or dog.
For example, if you have a cat in the house, the likelihood of it finding an ant bait station on the counter only to use it as a toy to bat around is pretty high. So, ensuring that even the best-hidden ant killers are pet safe is important.
Do Natural Pet Safe Ant Killers Work?
Some people claim that mixing water and white vinegar into a spray bottle is a natural ant killer. You spray it in the areas where the pests are or use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. Neither concoction is harmful to dogs or cats as long as they ingest it in moderation.
However, the debate remains whether white vinegar or apple cider vinegar solutions keep ants away for good.
Pet Safe Ant Killers That Actually Work
The good news is there are pet safe ant killers that actually work. Let’s look at five options you can count on.
1. TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Bait Stations
Terro T300B liquid ant bait stations are considered pet safe. Their active ingredient is sodium tetraborate decahydrate, also known as Borax.
Since the bait stations are in plastic, a dog or cat shouldn’t be able to get the fluid inside. There’s only enough room for the ants to crawl inside, eat the bait, and share it with the rest of the colony to eventually kill the queen ant and rid them from your house. However, care should be made with the placement of these bait stations, as if they are tipped the fluid in them can slowly pour out.
The liquid ant bait stations work quickly, and you should see a decrease in ants within a few days. Place the stations where you see the most ants. They’ll flock to the bait, so you may see an increase in ants at first. But this is good, as more of the ants will bring the poison back to the colony faster.
2. Raid Essentials Ant, Spider, and Roach Killer Aerosol Spray, Child and Pet Safe
Raid’s Essentials Ant, Spider, and Roach Killer Aerosol Spray is safe for pets and humans when used as directed. Primary ingredients are Geraniol 6.00% and Lemongrass Oil 0.50%. Other ingredients make up the rest, and are White Mineral Oil, Isopropyl Myristate, Ethyl Lactate, and Carbon Dioxide.
Geraniol is a liquid present in citronella oil and a variety of essential oils. It is also produced in the scent glands of honeybees. It is commonly used in natural insect repellents, perfumes, and flavorings.
Meant for indoor use, the spray is effective in getting rid of ants and other crawling insects. It has essential oils and plant-based ingredients designed to kill bugs. While Raid Essentials is safe, we don’t recommend spraying it on your pet. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and put your dog or cat in another room or outdoors while you spray for ants.
3. Ant Killer by Ortho Home Defense
Ant Kill by Ortho Home Defense consists of metal ant traps for indoors and outdoors. The active ingredient is abamectin B1, a compound that binds to particular invertebrate cell channels. This binding causes paralysis and death in invertebrates, however, it does not cross the blood-brain barrier in mammals and is considered very safe. It is actually used for veterinary antiparasite treatment and a dewormer in horses.
Similar to the liquid ant bait stations, your pet won’t be able to get into the traps. The metal container is spill-resistant, so there’s no risk of poison around your pets. However, you still shouldn’t let your pets or kids play with these bait traps.
The trap holes are tiny, and only ants can get in. After the ants get the poison inside, they will return it to the queen, eliminating the colony within days.
4. Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade
One of the most publicized pet safe ant killers is diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is a naturally-occurring soft rock made up of fossilized diatoms, which are hard-shelled microalgae. This rock is ground into an off-white powder and can be used for a variety of applications from filtration to abrasion.
Unlike the chemicals listed above, Diatomaceous Earth (also know as DE) can be used as a mechanical insecticide. This means that it uses mechanical functions to kill insects. According to Wikipedia, “The fine powder adsorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of the exoskeletons of many species of insects; this layer acts as a barrier that resists the loss of water vapour from the insect’s body. Damaging the layer increases the evaporation of water from their bodies, so that they dehydrate, often fatally.”
This means that DE works on any insect that has an exoskeleton, including ants. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that it’s generally safe. However, if you have pets in the house, be sure to use the food-grade version.
5. Dish Soap and Water Method
The dish soap and water method is a pet safe and effective DIY way to get rid of ants outside of the home. Simply fill a cup with water and approximately three tablespoons of dish soap. Pour the solution on the ant colony location. The soapy water should thoroughly saturate the colony area, killing and repelling the ants from that location.
Many people also put this high-concentration soap solution to work inside the home with a spray bottle. Simply spray the liquid in areas you see the ants entering or traversing to repel them.
What Do I Do If My Dog or Cat Licks Ant Poison?
While there are pet safe ant killers, not all products that eliminate the pests are. If your dog or cat licks ant poison, they may get sick. This isn’t always the case, but knowing the signs and symptoms is important.
Call your veterinarian immediately if your pet has diarrhea, vomits, or bloody stools after ingesting ant poison. Or call or go to the emergency animal hospital if it’s after hours.
Pro Tip: Use extra caution when you have a new pet in the house. You may need some time to familiarize yourself with its behaviors and train it to stay away from certain areas.
Is It Possible to Keep Ants Away If You Have Pets?
Preventing ants from sneaking into your house is possible. Keeping crumbs picked up and not leaving food out is a start. Pets aren’t what attracts ants, so getting rid of the ant problem is possible. Also, remember that to truly eliminate ants, you need to kill the queen ant.
Do you have ants? Try one of the pet safe ant killers on our list, and let us know how it goes.
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