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The 8 Best Ant Killers of 2024 [Tested & Reviewed]

Zach hand-picks and recommends every product we feature. When you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

best ant killers

Are ants taking over your space?

In this blog, we’re sharing the best ant control treatments on the market – from baits to sprays — that are proven to be effective.

With over 20+ years of experience as licensed pest control experts, we’ve helped homes tackle ant infestations with these exact products.

A gel bait for indoor and outdoor use that attracts and kills all major species of ants.
An effective, ready-to-spray aerosol pesticide that kills ants and other common household pests.
An effective, fast-acting liquid bait that kills a wide variety of ant species.
4.8
4.5
4.5
Best Overall
A gel bait for indoor and outdoor use that attracts and kills all major species of ants.
4.8
Best Spray
An effective, ready-to-spray aerosol pesticide that kills ants and other common household pests.
4.5
Best Liquid Bait
An effective, fast-acting liquid bait that kills a wide variety of ant species.
4.5

Our Top Picks

  1. Best Overall: Syngenta Advion Ant Gel
  2. Best Spray: Temprid FX Spray
  3. Best Liquid Bait: MaxForce Ant Control Liquid Bait
  4. Best Granule Bait: MaxForce Granular Insect Bait
  5. Best Natural Ant Bait: Antack Liquid Ant Bait
  6. Best Gel Bait: Optigard Ant Gel Bait
  7. Best Bait Station (Indoors): Rockwell Intice Gelanimo
  8. Best Bait Station (Outdoors): Kness Ants No More
Best Overall
Syngenta Advion Ant Gel

Summary: A gel bait for indoor and outdoor use that attracts and kills all major species of ants. 

Type: Gel bait

Key ingredient(s): Indoxacarb 0.05%

Also good for: All major species of ants, including Acrobat, Argentine, Big-headed, Carpenter, Cornfield, Crazy, Field, Ghost, Harvester, Honey, Little black, Odorous house, Pavement, Pharaoh, Pyramid, Red Imported Fire Ant, Rover, Thief, and White Footed ants. 

Baits are some of the most effective ways to kill ants, and this gel bait is one of our favorites. ADVION Ant Bait Gel contains Indoxacarb, a robust, nonrepellent insecticide with low toxicity to mammals, as its active ingredient. 

Indoxacarb bait doesn’t kill ants instantly. Instead, it remains active after digestion, which allows ants to pass it to other insects via bait sharing.

In other words, it delays killing them long enough for them to take some of the bait back to their nest site and share it with other ants. This process eventually kills the entire colony – even the ants who didn’t visit the bait station directly.

While this bait attracts all major species of ants, it’s especially appealing to sweet-eating species, including Argentine, Carpenter, Big-headed, Cornfield, Ghost, and Little Black ants. 

This bait is ideal for application in cracks and crevices, spaces along floors or walls, the areas behind or under equipment, appliances, and tables, and the space within the framing of furniture. It can also be applied around sinks, near garbage collection areas, and in attics, crawl spaces, and cabinets. 

For this bait to work as well as possible, it should be combined with a granular, protein-based bait (like MaxForce Complete Granular Insect Bait – more on this later), which helps eliminate protein- and sugar-preferring ants.

The bait should also be applied in a bait station, which keeps the gel fresh and prevents pets, kids, and other animals from tampering with it. 

Our Experience: When we tested this product, we found it easy to use. This indoor ant kit includes everything needed to treat ants in residential settings, including an application plunger and two different application tips. The translucent formula is odor-free and non-staining, and we liked that you don’t need to use much to kill even large ant infestations. 

How to Use: Inspect your space to identify ant feeding and harborage areas. Apply Advion Ant Gel in spots of 0.1-1.0 grams and ¼” in diameter. Alternatively, apply the gel in lines that are approximately ⅛” wide and 2” long (although they can be up to 3” long for highly active trails). 

For best results, place spots or lines of this gel near active foraging trails, nest sites, or other areas with high levels of ant activity.  

Apply as many placements of this gel bait as possible without disrupting the natural behavior of the ants. 

If using this gel in a refillable bait station, avoid exceeding the capacity of the bait station reservoir. Inspect the gel bait placements daily and reapply or refresh as needed.

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
4.5
Ease of Use:
5.0
Pros:
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors as a crack, crevice, or spot treatment.
  • Kills ants fast.
  • Pet-safe if used according to label directions.
  • Long-lasting – shelf life is five years from the date of manufacture.
  • Ideal for use in situations where sprays are not useful or applicable.
  • Does not need to be applied directly to a nest to be effective.
  • Bait stays fresh for extended periods.
  • Can be applied with the kit’s included plunger or a bait gun.
Cons:
  • This product should not be applied to surfaces treated with residual sprays.
  • Bait will dry up quickly if applied on porous surfaces like concrete.
  • Ants may develop resistance to the active ingredient in this product.
  • May be less attractive to protein-feeding ants.
  • Does not kill ants on contact.
Best Spray
Temprid Ready to Spray

Summary: An effective, ready-to-spray aerosol pesticide that kills ants and other common household pests. 

Type: Aerosol Insecticide 

Key ingredient(s): Imidacloprid 0.05% beta-Cyfluthrin 0.02%

Also good for: Spiders, bedbugs, cockroaches, crickets, earwigs, fleas, moths, wasps, and more. 

If you’re looking for an effective contact insecticide that kills ants immediately, we recommend Temprid Ready to Spray. 

We chose this as our “top spray” because it’s convenient, easy to use, and perfect for killing ants and other household pests, like cockroaches and bed bugs (even when bed bugs are resistant to pyrethroid insecticides). 

This product is the ready-to-use aerosol version of Temprid FX, which we use in the field all the time. However, we prefer the aerosol version for household use thanks to its bag-on-valve technology, which makes application easy, fast, and mess-free – no mixing or measuring needed.

In addition to killing ants on contact, this product also offers up to 6 months of residual protection, so it will keep ants from coming back. 

This formula also offers a crack and crevice injector and sprays 10-12 feet, making it excellent for spot treatment in hard-to-reach areas. 

Our Experience: When we tested this product, we found that it killed ants on contact. The spray formulation was simple to apply thoroughly in cracks and crevices, allowing us to quickly eliminate ant trails in hidden areas, like behind trim boards or under cabinets. 

How to Use: Always shake this product well before use.

To use this spray as a crack and crevice treatment, attach the crack and crevice nozzle and apply the formula directly into ant harborage areas, walls, baseboards, the area around pipes and under cabinets, and other places where ants are active. 

For complete colony kill, follow ant trails back to nest sites and treat them directly. 

For light and moderate infestations, move the product’s injector tip along the area at a rate of 1 foot per second. For heavy infestations, move the injector tip at a rate of 6 inches per second. 

To use the product as a spot treatment, hold the nozzle 12-18 inches from the surface you want to treat and spray it at a rate of 2 square feet per four seconds. 

Reapply the product every 7-10 days until the infestation is resolved. 

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
4.0
Ease of Use:
4.5
Pros:
  • You can apply this spray from any angle without leaks or pressure loss.
  • Kills ants instantly.
  • Waste-free can empties completely.
  • Easy to use.
  • Mess-free.
  • Dries clear.
  • Offers six months of residual protection.
  • Odor-free.
  • No exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for applicators.
  • Will not damage paints, plastics, fabrics, or other surfaces.
Cons:
  • Does not kill fire ants.
  • Crack and crevice nozzle can be flimsy and may break or clog during treatment.
  • People and pets should only enter the treated area once this product has dried completely.
Best Liquid Bait
MaxForce Ant Control Liquid Bait

Summary: An effective, fast-acting liquid bait that kills a wide variety of ant species. 

Type: Liquid bait. 

Key ingredient(s): Imidacloprid 0.03%

Also good for: Acrobat ants, Argentine ants, Big-Headed ants, Black Garden ants, Crazy ants, Ghost ants, Little Black ants, Odorous House ants, Pavement ants, Pharaoh’s ants, Rover ants, Thief ants, and White-Footed ants. 

If you want to wipe out foraging ants, their Queen, and the entire colony, we recommend buying MaxForce Ant Control Liquid Bait.

Made from the active ingredient Imidacloprid, this product offers highly effective ant control. 

The sweet formulation attracts foraging ants and encourages them to take the bait back to the colony, killing the Queen and other ants that didn’t feed at the bait station directly. 

The product lasts up to three months and is effective indoors and outdoors. 

Unlike other liquid bait formulas, this one retains moisture and resists drying out, which allows it to keep attracting ants longer than other liquid baits. It can also be diluted with sugar water to treat severe infestations in large outdoor areas or to kill multiple ant colonies. 

Our Experience: When we tested this product, we found it very simple to use. The gel goes on smoothly and is easy to direct into cracks and crevices or add to bait stations. The formula is clear and odorless, and we noticed a reduction in ant activity in just 24 hours. 

How to Use: To open the bait applicator, remove the cap and use scissors to cut the applicator tip. Next, place the bait in ant foraging, harborage, and nest sites. 

We recommend applying this bait into cracks, crevices, holes, and small gaps where ants regularly feed or travel.

For best results, apply the bait at a rate of up to 2.0 grams per 100 square feet of floor space. If applying directly to ant nests, inject up to 2.0 grams of the bait directly into the nest entrance. 

If you want to use this product in foraging trails, apply 0.6 grams of bait for every ten linear feet, distributing the bait in a series of small beads.

Inspect bait placements daily and reapply if needed. If applying refillable bait stations, make sure not to exceed the capacity of the bait station’s reservoir. 

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
4.5
Ease of Use:
4.0
Pros:
  • Controls ants for up to 3 months indoors.
  • Bait resists drying out.
  • Ready-to-use.
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors.
  • Odor-free.
  • Kills ants quickly.
  • Safe for use around kids and pets when used according to label directions.
Cons:
  • Does not kill Fire, Carpenter, or Harvester ants.
  • Bait does not adhere to vertical surfaces.
  • Bait may stain porous surfaces.
  • Application tube leaks easily during storage.
Best Granule Bait
MaxForce Granular Insect Bait

Summary: A versatile, fast-acting granule bait that kills ants and other crawling insect pests.  

Type: Granular bait. 

Key ingredient(s): Hydramethylnon 1%

Also good for: Roaches, crickets, silverfish, firebrats, earwigs, and a variety of ant species, including Acrobat, Argentine, Big-headed, Carpenter, Cornfield, Crazy, Field, Fire, Ghost, Harvester, Odorous house, Pavement, Pharaoh, and Thief ants. 

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use and apply granular bait that kills ants fast, look no further than MaxForce Complete Granular Insect Bait. 

Formulated with Hydramethylnon, this broad-spectrum insecticide contains a unique mixture of sugars, proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates, making it highly attractive to various ant species. 

Unlike other baits, this formula offers a unique combination of food-based ingredients, which accounts for the seasonal food preferences of ants and encourages ants to eat the bait all year long. It’s an excellent complement to sugar-based bait formulas and can help eradicate all the ant species in an area.

Our Experience: When we tested this bait, we noticed how easy and convenient it is to use. The granular formula is ready to apply right out of the container – no mixing or measuring is required – and it kills ants quickly. We noticed a drastic reduction in ant activity in just a few days.

How to Use: If applying this product indoors, limit use to areas inaccessible to kids or pets, such as crevices, cracks, wall voids, unfinished attics and crawl spaces, and refillable, secure, tamper-resistant bait stations. 

For best results, apply as much as 0.5 oz of bait into each crack, crevice, or harborage area. 

To get this bait into hard-to-reach areas, use a bulb applicator. 

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
4.0
Ease of Use:
4.0
Pros:
  • Easy, mess-free application.
  • Can be used as a broadcast treatment or in bait stations.
  • Ready-to-use.
  • Approved for indoor and outdoor use.
  • Odor-free.
  • Kills the entire colony.
  • Safe for use around pets when used according to label directions.
Cons:
  • Should not be used in areas where aerosol or spray insecticides have also been used.
  • Requires reapplication every few weeks.
  • May require additional equipment, like a bulb applicator.
Best Natural Ant Bait
Antack Liquid Ant Bait

Summary: A fast-acting liquid ant bait that kills the colony and queen within 48 hours. 

Type: Liquid ant bait. 

Key ingredient(s): Spinosad 0.015%

Also good for: Foraging Carpenter Ants, Foraging Fire Ants, Sweet-feeding Listed Ants, Pavement Ants, moisture Ants, Odorous House Ants, Thief Ants, Texas Leafcutting Ants, and Field Ants

This liquid ant bait uses Spinosad as its active ingredient, which we love because Spinosad is a natural byproduct of a bacteria. It’s a more natural alternative to other liquid baits. 

It’s also an excellent addition to your bait lineup. Because not every ant wants the same bait all the time, alternating baits is a great way to ensure a more complete kill, and this product definitely deserves a spot on your shelves. 

This product is ready to use and easy to apply, thanks to its built-in dispensing tip. It’s safe for indoor and outdoor use and kills ants fast – wiping out the entire colony within 48 hours of treatment. 

Our Experience: When we tested this product, we noticed that it killed ants fast – all signs of ant activity were gone in just a few days. The applicator tip makes it easy to add to bait stations, and the fact that it’s derived from natural ingredients makes it pet-safe when used as directed. 

How to Use: Set empty bait stations near ant mounds, nests, and active ant trails. Fill each bait station with Antack Liquid Ant Bait, following the filling instructions for the bait stations you’re using. 

When you notice that foraging ants are no longer visiting the bait station, clean it, move it to a different location, and refill it.

If you have a large ant infestation, use two or more bait stations. Avoid applying Antack Liquid Ant Bait in direct sun, and refill when the bait stations are empty or dried out. 

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
4.0
Ease of Use:
4.5
Pros:
  • Kills ants fast
  • Derived from natural products
  • Easy to apply
  • Safe for indoor and outdoor use
Cons:
  • Requires you to use and purchase bait stations
  • Should not be used without a bait station or applied directly to soil or plants
  • Does not kill Carpenter, Fire, Harvester, or Pharaoh Ants
Best Gel Bait
Optigard Ant Gel Bait

Summary: An effective and easy-to-use gel bait that provides total colony elimination. 

Type: Gel bait. 

Key ingredient(s): Thiamethoxam 0.01%

Also good for: Structure-invading ants excluding Fire, Harvester, and Pharaoh ants.

If you’re looking for another effective bait to add to your lineup, look no further than Optigard Ant Gel. 

Offering a highly lethal yet palatable formula, this product attracts a wide variety of structure-invading ants. When they encounter the bait, the ants take it back to their nest and transfer it back to the queen and their young, thereby killing the whole colony.

Unlike other gel baits, this one retains moisture well, remaining attractive to ants for at least two weeks after bait deployment. 

Safe for indoor and outdoor use, this bait is also safe to use in pet-friendly homes, as long as you follow label directions. 

Our Experience: When we applied this product, we noticed that ants started swarming it almost immediately. Within 24 hours, though, the ant activity had ceased completely. We noticed that this bait seems attractive to a wide variety of ant species and that it’s easy to apply and refresh.

How to Use: Apply this product using the included syringe applicator, or with a bait injector (purchased separately). 

Apply the bait in crevices, cracks, and corners behind kitchen appliances, behind and beneath baseboards, under sinks, around door and window frames, in your crawl space and garage, or near your pipes and water heater. 

For best results, place multiple spots of this gel in places where you’ve noticed ants foraging or traveling. 

If you need to apply ant bait in areas of the house that you use more frequently, apply this product in an enclosed bait station, which will prevent kids and pets from interfering with it. Do not spray insecticide over this bait gel since that will decrease its appeal to ants. 

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
4.0
Ease of Use:
4.0
Pros:
  • Goes on clear and remains clear throughout treatment.
  • This gel holds its shape and will not run like liquid baits.
  • Kills the entire ant colony.
  • Approved for use as a spot treatment or in cracks and crevices.
Cons:
  • Requires you to purchase and use bait stations.
  • The product is most effective when used in conjunction with a protein bait.
  • Does not kill Fire, Harvester, or Pharaoh ants.
Best Bait Station (Indoors)
Rockwell Intice Gelanimo

Summary: Ready-to-use gel bait stations designed for indoor use. 

Type: Gel bait station.

Key ingredient(s): SodiumTetraborate Decahydrate (borax) 3%

Also good for: Most species of ants, excluding Carpenter, Fire, and Harvester ants. 

Want a gel bait station that you can set and forget? We recommend these Rockwell Intice Gelanimo ant bait stations. Each ready-to-use station contains 0.25 ounces of high-moisture gel bait with a consistency like gelatin.

This is important because the rigidity of the gel allows ants to feed on the entire surface of the bait. This means dozens of ants can feed at once without drowning in the bait. The bait’s firm consistency also allows ants to slice off pieces of it and carry it back to the nest, distributing it and killing the colony in the process.  

These pre-set bait stations are easy to place without spills or messes, and you never have to hand-measure sticky, gooey baits.

Our Experience: When we tested these bait stations, we found that we liked the rigid gel technology and the fact that it was mess-free. We noticed that ants were able to swarm the bait without drowning in it, and that this product controlled infestations quickly. 

How to Use: To use these bait stations, remove the sticker on the bottom of each station to expose the ant entrance hole. 

Place the stations with the hole facing down along structural edges, under cabinets, near floor edges, and in other areas where ants eat or travel. 

Monitor the bait placements daily to make sure there’s still ample gel bait left, and replace and refresh the stations as needed. 

Effectiveness:
5.0
Safety:
4.5
Ease of Use:
5.0
Pros:
  • The bait formula remains rigid at temperatures up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Affordable.
  • Pre-baited.
  • Mess-free.
  • Easy to use.
  • Kills most common household ants.
Cons:
  • Bait stations are not refillable.
  • Cannot be used as a crack or crevice treatment.
  • Takes a few days to kill ants.
Best Bait Station (Outdoors)
Kness Ants No More

Summary: Rugged, tamper-proof, waterproof polypropylene outdoor bait station. 

Type: Outdoor bait station. 

Key ingredient(s): N/A

Also good for: Holds baits that kill foraging ants. 

Outdoor bait stations need to be durable, moisture-resistant, and accessible, and the Kness Ants No More bait station checks all of those boxes. 

While this station does not include bait, the twin bait compartment design allows you to use two baits simultaneously, contributing to faster and more comprehensive ant kill. 

In addition to holding two different kinds of baits, this station is also compatible with different bait formulations, including granular baits, liquids, and gels. 

This bait station’s durable design makes it easy to insert into the soil around shrubs and trees or directly into flower beds, planter boxes, or any other area where foraging ants are a problem.  

This product’s polypropylene construction makes it moisture- and tamper-proof and ensures that bait won’t spill out of the ant entry points. 

Our Experience: When we tested this product, we found it low-profile and easy to use. 

The durable green plastic construction blends in with outdoor environments, and the bait compartments are roomy and perfect for all types of baits. 

The tamper-resistant lid prevents the bait station from being opened accidentally, while the stake makes it easy to place.

How to Use: Open the bait station by lining the lid up with the arrow on the body of the station. 

Apply your choice of liquid, granular, or gel baits into the two bait compartments and snap the lid back into position. 

Next, place the bait station into the ground near foundation cracks, air conditioning entry points, wood piles, or other ant foraging areas. 

Be sure to only sink the stake into the ground up to the line of the first ant entry and exit holes. Check and replenish baits weekly.

Effectiveness:
4.0
Safety:
5.0
Ease of Use:
4.5
Pros:
  • The informative trap lid identifies the unit as a bait station.
  • Interior sliding bait stop prevents bait spillage.
  • The design is durable and easy to use.
  • Polypropylene provides UV protection and allows the bait to remain active longer.
Cons:
  • The bait station is not pre-baited.
  • Cannot be used on hard surfaces like concrete.
  • More expensive than other bait stations.

Buyers Guide

ants

1. Locate nests whenever possible

To get rid of ants, you need to eradicate the entire colony.

If you only focus on killing exposed foraging and worker ants, you’re unlikely to see long-term results since these ants usually make up less than 10-15% of the ants present in a colony.

Additionally, these ants are easy to replace, and the queen will quickly add more to the colony to replace any killed while out foraging.

With that in mind, start your ant control efforts by locating and treating nests directly.

To do this, implement a survey bait program with honey, jelly, peanut butter, or bits of fresh meat. Place the bait on a plate where it’s easily accessible to ants, and note where the ants come from and where they go once they’ve fed on the bait.

This is a good way to identify nest sites and target your treatment efforts.

2. Focus on baits

Baits are the best tool to control ants in residential settings – especially in areas where kids and pets are present, and sprays and dust aren’t ideal.

For best results, vary the baits you choose, alternating between different baits, including food baits based on sweets and proteins.

We like options like Maxforce Quantum, Maxforce Fleet, and Advion Ant Gel, which are cost-effective, fast-killing baits that work for ants that don’t go for other baits like Antack or Optigard.

You can also use pre-filled bait stations, like Maxforce FC Ant Bait Stations.

These self-contained bait stations are convenient and easy to set since they’re equipped with paste bait that ants love.

To encourage bait consumption, remove competing food sources in your home, such as kitchen scraps, trash, and more.

If ants aren’t consuming bait, replace it with another formulation. This helps overcome bait aversion and ensures you’re targeting all the ants in your home effectively.

3. Use residual sprays

For an extra layer of ant protection, use residual sprays into cracks and crevices where ants may be entering the home.

You can also use these sprays in ant entrance, feeding, and harborage areas to prevent re-infestation. Just be sure to keep all residual sprays away from bait stations.

Using residual sprays near bait stations can contaminate the bait with pesticide, making it unappealing to ants.

4. Consider investing in professional treatment

Sometimes, it’s difficult to get rid of ants on your own. If you need additional assistance, contact a professional pest management company.

A pest management team will use professional-grade products to kill ants, eradicate colonies, and eliminate nests while also providing follow-up treatments needed to prevent re-infestation.

To find a team in your area, contact us at (844) 532-0076, and we’ll connect you to a reputable, local pest management professional.

Bottom Line

Getting rid of ants can be difficult, and it requires a combination of treatments, including contact and residual sprays and baits.

For best results, we recommend using a combination of all the products mentioned on this list. In addition to controlling ants as quickly and effectively as possible, these products will also provide a comprehensive ant control program that protects against future re-infestations.

How We Tested these Products

To make our final selections, we collected the top products our pest management professionals are currently using in the field, including aerosol sprays, liquid, granular, and gel baits, and bait stations.

Once we developed an initial list of products, we tested each of the options to assess performance, price, and ease of use. Of course, we also wanted to note how quickly they killed ants.

The result of our testing is this vetted list of professional-quality ant treatments you can use for DIY pest control.

Why Trust Pest Dude?

When you consider a product recommendation, trust is essential. You want balanced information based on real-world experience. Here at the Pest Dude, we’re committed to giving you both. Our team research and test every product. We compare results with other licensed pest control professionals, and we double-check our findings.

Zachary Smith, our company founder, has over 20 years of field experience. He runs his own company, Smith’s Pest Management, serving home and business owners throughout the Bay Area. Zachary has the final say over featured products. The goal is to give you the knowledge you need to solve pest problems like a pro. It’s our pleasure to put our expertise at your service.

Ant Control FAQs

Baits are generally considered the most effective method of ant control. This is because baits can eliminate an entire colony of ants, even when you can’t find the nest site.

Because worker and forager ants carry baits back to the colony, you can rest assured that they’ll also be consumed by non-visible ants, like the queen and other colony members.

Ants usually enter homes in search of easy food sources, which is why they’re so common in pantries and kitchens.

Ants will eat everything from pet food to meat, so it’s important to practice good household sanitation to remove as many of their food sources as possible.

Sure, you can squish individual ants, but this won’t get rid of the colony.

There are usually tens of thousands of ants in a single colony, so killing ants on contact won’t eliminate the overall infestation. Instead, focus on more effective control methods like baits and residual treatment sprays.

zachary smith crop

Author Bio: Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is the founder of PestDude.com. Zachary is a licensed pest control professional with 20+ years of hands on experience eradicating pests from homes and businesses. Zachary earned his Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2002. He specializes in rodent and insect infestation management of structures and landscapes. His passion is to share his extensive knowledge with the world.

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