Ant activity is never a welcome site in the kitchen (or other areas of the home), and you’ll want to get rid of them quickly.
But there’s also the matter of family safety to consider, especially in a room you prepare food.
We’ve tested our several ant traps that are not only designed with safety in mind, but they’re all effective killers.
But first, let’s discuss ant traps in general.
Different Types of Ant Traps
There are two major categories of traps: adhesive and bait.
Both are effective ant killers, but they have their own advantages and disadvantages.
You’ve probably used this kind of trap against fruit flies in the kitchen.
They’re a strip of cardboard or plastic with an adhesive on one side.
When ants or other tiny critters step on it, they become stuck, and the more they struggle, the more stuck they become.
Needless to say, these have a very high success rate against foragers, but won’t affect the colony itself.
Kids and pets are notorious for getting stuck on the traps as well, if they’re within reach.
Ant Bait Stations
Bait stations are great because they take advantage of an ant’s ability to store foo in a communal stomach to share with the nest.
As a result, the formulas used kill slowly, giving unlucky workers a chance to share the poison with their queens.
Indoor stations are designed to sit on a flat surface, while outdoor stations are either held in the ground with spikes or hung from trees or bird feeders.
There are four subcategories of station, based upon the type of bait used.
Gel Bait Traps
Gels are a spill-resistant alternative to liquids and may be effective against species that can’t consume solid bait.
Granular Bait Traps
This type of bait is an effective ant killer when the species likes to bring home chunks of food.
Liquid Bait Traps
Many ant species are unable to consume solid foods, in which case a liquid poison is the only option.
As the name implies, these are stations that use more than one type of bait, usually in separate compartments.
In some cases, these stations are reusable and can be filled with the bait types you need most.
Choosing the Right Ant Trap
Not all species are created equal, so some traps will work better than others.
The key is to first identify the kind of ant you’re dealing with, then pick a trap that will work best for that species and where you’ve seen them.
Adhesive traps can be mounted on walls or other vertical surfaces, but they don’t do anything to attract ants on their own.
Bait traps need to be placed on floors or countertops (out of reach of small hands and paws), but you’ll have to pick the type of bait that’s appropriate for your particular ant invaders.
See Also: Do Ants Poop?
Can Indoor Ant Traps be Used Outdoors?
Honestly, this depends on the trap itself.
There are many traps that can be used both indoors and outdoors, especially bait stations.
However, some stations are designed only for use indoors or outdoors.
Indoor liquid stations are a good example of stations that aren’t good to use outside.
In many cases, these stations might flood, allowing the poison to contaminate nearby soil.
To avoid this problem, we recommend you always check the label to ensure it’s safe for use in the spaces you plan to put it.
We recommend the Kness Ants-No-More station as an excellent outdoor substitute for indoor bait traps.
Ant Traps vs Sprays
When dealing with a pest inside your home, the last thing you want to do is put your kids or pets at risk.
Bug sprays are effective ant killers, but they leave behind residue that can be toxic.
Traps, meanwhile, either contain their poisons inside protective containers or are non-toxic in nature.
When possible, it’s always better to use a trap over sprays.
See Also: How to Eliminate Ant Hills
Our Best Ant Traps
#1 – Terro Prefilled Liquid Traps
- Attracts & Kills – Kills common household ants including acrobat, crazy,...
- Kills the Ants You See & the Ones You Don't – As worker ants discover the...
- Works Fast – You should see a significant decrease in the number of ants...
It’s hard to believe that Terro liquid ant killer was introduced way back in 1915.
But it’s still around and has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the best on the market
You can identify Terro products by their iconic bright orange packaging, and the patented trap design prevents bait from drying out.
We really love the fact that Terro’s bait contains borax, one of our favorite DiY baits.
These traps will work on most common household ants and won’t alarm Argentine ant colonies.
We honestly can’t say we tested this trap for our review because our team already uses Terro products all the time.
- Kills a wide variety of ant species.
- Superior quality and easy to handle.
- Doesn’t create superbugs
- Fast-acting formula that can take out an entire colony over time.
- Container is a little thin, which can lead to spills if damaged
- Will not work for some ant species like carpenter ants.
#2 – Maxforce Quantum Ant Bait Stations
- Provides fast control of a wide variety of ant species
- Clear, odorless formula allows for inconspicuous bait placements
- May be used indoors and outdoors, residential or commercial, including food...
Bayer might bne best known for its aspirin, but they also make pesticide products.
The Maxforce Quantum uses a (very) small amount of imidacloprid as its active ingredient.
This is a rather curious product, as it comes with several plastic stations that you fill yourself using a tube of liquid bait.
Once collected, the poison is fast-acting and each trap will continue to kill for up to three months.
We found the bait stations themselves didn’t always interest the ants, but you can use the gel on its own (BE RESPONSIBLE!) if this happens or make your own station.
This flexibility really boosted the value of the Quantum for us.
- Contains several ready to use bait stations
- Easy to place wherever needed
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
- You can install them on vertical surfaces using adhesive strips
- Comparatively pricier
- Requires regular monitoring on whether they need to be replaced
#3 – Hot Shot MaxAttrax Ant Bait
- STARTS KILLING ANTS IN HOURS: Hot Shot MaxAttrax Ant Bait provides relief from...
- KILLS THE QUEEN COLONY: Works up to 6 months indoors.
- INDOOR AND OUTDOOR USE: Use near walls, in closets and cabinets, under sinks and...
Hot Shot is a household name, so we were pretty confident when we picked this product up for testing.
The active ingredient here is indoxacarb, with the bait being stored inside a classic octagonal station.
While these stations are supposed to be child resistant, we highly recommend making sure they’re well out of reach.
However, we can confirm these do a great job and the poison is a pretty fast killer.
Just be warned, it’s not uncommon to see a burst of activity for the first day or two as workers rush to harvest the ant bait.
- Works on most sugar and grease ants
- Effective for up to 6 months
- Formulated to attract the target ants, causing them to distribute the poison more quickly
- Pets seem to be attracted to the stations as much as the ants
#4 – Raid Max Liquid Ant Bait
- Raid Max Liquid Ant Bait kills listed ants where they breed (excluding fire...
- Pre-filled liquid ant killer that is both convenient and ready-to-use
- After ants consume the liquid from the ant bait , they return to the colony and...
Morgan claims there used to be a series of commercials where cartoon ants and roaches would scream RAID! before falling over dead.
I’m a little too young for that, but I do know these products have been around for a long time.
This particular bait station is a newer design with Spinosad as its active ingredient.
One thing we have to stress with this product is that 90% of the bad reviews are because people refuse to read the label.
When used against pavement ants or any other type of ant listed on the label, these bait traps work great and can eventually kill an entire colony.
However, there are many species that simply won’t be attracted to the formula.
If you don’t identify the type of ant you’re dealing with and verify this product works against it, you might not have much success.
- Effective, fast-acting formula
- Spill-resistant stations
- Works indoors and outdoors
- Won’t work on many pest species, such as fire ants or carpenter ants