In today’s day and age, we all have pets in our houses or apartments. Dogs, cats, parrots or guinea pigs are only some of the animals that most people love and have in their homes.
But, despite them guarding your space, some intruders may still enter. For example, mice, bed bugs, or ants. Ants are so tiny, that even your dog or cat won’t bother catching them. Except, of course, if you have an anteater in your house, which is unlikely.
So, how to get rid of ants without harming pets? Getting rid of the ants without harming your pets must be done without the use of strong chemicals and the focus should be on natural ingredients. You can use strong chemicals but then you will have to confine your pet in a safe room while you deal with an ant infestation. While the pet is in the safe room you can use strong chemicals. It can take days to kill all of the ants and if your pet escapes the safe room it is usually a game over, especially for smaller pets like guinea pigs. All of this can be prevented if you use ant killer products that we recommend, which are in fact safe for pets.
In this article, we are going to elaborate more on this topic and see how to get rid of the ants quickly, while at the same time, keeping your pets safe and intact. Read carefully and please whatever product you buy for ants always read instructions and see if they are pet safe. Now let’s start with the guide!
Killing Ants Without Harming Your Pets – Tips and Guide
In this section, we’ll give you a couple of methods that work very good while they are perfectly safe for your pets. Here are your choices.
Method 1: Cornmeal
Cornmeal is mostly used in Eastern Europe and can be transformed into a very delicious dish. People usually wait for the water to start boiling, pour some of the cornmeal, stir, and wait for it to get turn into a mush. Then, they usually add some cheese, combine it, and enjoy their energetic meal.
Thankfully, cornmeal is perfectly safe for your animals such as dogs and cats. Guinea pigs or birds shouldn’t eat it, especially if you put some cheese in there. Ants, on the other hand, hate cornmeal. Once they take a bit, this substance expands in their guts, which makes them bloated and of course, after some time, dead.
Furthermore, this ingredient is very cheap. You can find it here, for example.
- 4 Ounce
- Organic Whole Yellow Corn
- USDA Organic; Stone ground
- 9.6 x 1.7 x 4.8 inches
- Made in the USA
For bigger amounts, it costs approximately $6 per 2.2 lbs, which is more than enough to eliminate a horde of ants. Plus, you get something new to eat, if you haven’t tried it.
Method 2: Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is known for its ability to kill a vast majority of insects. It can kill bed bugs, cockroaches, and of course, ants. For those who didn’t know, diatomaceous earth is a natural ingredient, containing fossilized remains of diatoms, aquatic microorganisms.
- Natural Product - Composed of 2lbs of 100% Natural Product -...
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- Made in the USA – Mined in Nevada and packaged in Georgia
Since this is a natural ingredient, it can’t harm your pets. Plus, there’s a food-grade version of diatomaceous earth, which is even used in nutrition (we have recommended that one).
Beware that this ingredient can be used for minor infestations. If we’re talking about a big ant infestation, diatomaceous earth probably isn’t going to help you that much.
So, how do you use it? You can just sprinkle it where the ants are coming from. Or, you can soak a sponge in sugar water, put it at the same place and let it be there for 24 hours. After that, you’ll probably see dead ants. Wash them off and repeat the process until all of them are dead.
Method 3: Dish Soap Spray
There’s no chance you don’t have dish soap in your house… unless you’re not washing your dishes. All you need is this and some water. No, we aren’t going to wash some dishes but make a spray for annihilating ants without harming pets – glad you asked.
As with every mixture, this one has some measures that need to be respected. Albeit, if you make it however you want, it will still be effective to some extent. We’ll use the spray bottle as an example and fill it to ¾ of the way. Then, add 10 to 20 drops of dish soap, shake it, and create our safe spray.
Don’t try to add tons of dish soap without adding some water, too. It will NOT be more efficient that way, so you’ll just waste your dish soap for nothing. Also, if you do this, you’ll see how messy it will be. You’ll have to clean soap from wherever you applied it, which can be annoying.
Before every use, shake the bottle a bit and start spraying. The great thing about it is that it will kill the annoying ants in a few seconds after applying. This means that you’ve gotten yourself a nice contact killer for eradicating ants and even fleas.
What Dish Soap to Use?
Since pets are our primary concern, you’re probably asking yourself which dish soap to buy. If it weren’t for pets, you can use any. Even those with lots of harsh chemicals. However, since you have a pet in your house, you want to use a natural one, although a harsh one will not be that dangerous, too. But, let’s use the natural one just to be safe.
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This one, for example, is very good. It has 3,000+ ratings on Amazon and is one of the most popular products of this kind. It doesn’t contain triclosan, dyes, fragrances, and phosphates, making it harmless to you and your pets.
So, as we said, mix it with water and test it out. Your pets won’t be harmed since they aren’t attracted to the smell of these chemicals. The important thing to say is that this mixture won’t work on red ants sometimes. It sometimes will and sometimes won’t.
Other types of ants, however, will die instantly in most cases. If you live in Florida, for instance, you’ll encounter a lot of red ants, so this mixture probably won’t help you kill them. The first method we mentioned, cornmeal, is going to do the job.
Method 4: Ant Baits (Terro and Home Plus)
Terro Ant Bait
If you’ve never heard of Terro, it’s time to introduce yourself. Terro is a leading company in the USA when it comes to killing pests, spiders, ants, and insects in general. This company developed quite a few decent, non-toxic solutions for eliminating ants. Terro ant killers can be found here.
We recommend the liquid solution for this purpose – like this one, for example.
Every package has 6 bait stations, and as you can see, you get 3 packages when you buy it, which results in 18 bait stations overall. But, how do they work?
Basically, these bait stations are filled with the liquid that kills ants. It has a lid on the top, which you need to open to expose that liquid. Next, you grab the bait station and place it where the ants are located. During the period of one or two days, ants will walk over it and get poisoned.
However, they will not die on contact. You can place the bait, the ants will come to eat it, and then disappear. You’ll notice that they gradually disappear, resulting in complete extermination after a certain period.
This solution is very cheap, yet very effective. The company is one of the best in this regard and they even offer a phone number for asking questions. The great thing is that it’s completely safe for both pets and kids.
Home Plus Ant Bait
But, if you don’t want any chemicals exposed in your house, you can try another solution from Home Plus, called metal ant trap – take a look at it here.
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It works similarly to the solution we already mentioned. In this case, however, the trap is ‘closed’. It’s a small circular contraption that needs to be placed close to the ant infestation.
Then, the ants will enter it to eat the food inside, or better said baits. These baits are toxic and will make the ants die in a certain period. We like that it also attracts the queen, so if she gets poisoned, she’ll return to the nest and contaminate almost every ant inside.
All in all, these products are among the best for this purpose.
Method 5: Boiling Water
When you don’t have any of the products in your house, it’s sometimes better to return to basics. Water is, we hope, something that you always have there. For this method, you’ll need approximately 3 gallons of water. Pour it into a pot, crank up the stove, and wait for it to boil.
Once it boils, simply pour the water into the ant nest. Be careful not to splatter yourself, your pets or your children, if you have them. Hot water is very dangerous and can lead to some permanent skin damage. The same applies to ants. When they get into contact with it, they’ll die immediately.
This method can also be used on other insects but also wasps, bees, cockroaches, and so forth. Beware that ants won’t always be near the surface of their nest. For that reason, do this when it’s not too cold. If it’s too cold, they’ll dig themselves deep into the nest, making them concealed and less prone to die from hot water.
Ants are definitely one of the most stubborn insects on the planet. But, if you’re consistent, you can eradicate them pretty easily. Be sure to test out most of our methods and be careful when killing ants in front of your pets or children.
If you have a very big infestation, some of these methods can help you a bit but we strongly advise in that case to call the professional exterminator to do the job. For more pest-related content please follow us and share our guides with others. Thanks!!
List of Sources
Brown W., Natural, Organic and Alternative Methods for Imported Fire Ant Management, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Making Natural Pest Controls, Peace Corps
Invasive Ant Biology and Control, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Ants, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources