All About Indoor Ant Baiting

TERRO® indoor ant baits are the best control option when looking to get rid of ants invading the inside of a home. Ant baits are surprisingly simple in the way they work. Borax, the active ingredient in TERRO® Ant Killer and TERRO® Liquid Ant Baits, is a natural ingredient that has a low level of toxicity for humans, but is deadly to ants. As ant foragers from the colony look for food, they are attracted to the sweet liquid in the insect bait and greedily consume it.

Why does Borax kill ants? While the ant bait will ultimately kill the worker ant, it interferes with the ant's digestive system and works slowly enough that the worker has time to get back and share the bait with the rest of the colony. This slow kill is needed to allow time for each foraging ant to make several trips to the bait and deliver it back to the colony. As they travel, the ants drop a pheromone trail from the bait to the nest, which lets the other ants know where the food supply has been found. The ants hungrily follow the trail to the bait, which explains why a homeowner will initially see more ants when using TERRO® ant baits.

Baiting Ants With Borax – How Does Borax Kill Ants?

Borax, a naturally occurring mineral powder, is the active ingredient found in TERRO® indoor and outdoor ant bait products. The natural substance, also known as sodium tetraborate decahydrate, has a long history of consumer usage. In the United States, widespread use dates back to the late 1800’s when borax first became widely available. Today, borax can be found in many household consumer products, including laundry boosters, household cleaners, mouthwashes, eyewashes and toothpastes.

When looking for a long-term solution to control ant invasions, baiting with TERRO® liquid and granular ant baits is an excellent option. Whereas borax has a low level of toxicity for humans and animals, our borax ant bait is lethal to ants.

Intruding the ants’ digestive systems is how borax kills ants. Slowly killing the ants is the key to effective long-term ant control because it gives foraging ants enough time to consume the bait (borax) and share it with the rest of the colony. It's also the reason why borax ant control is so effective at eliminating an ant infestation.

Expert Indoor Baiting Tips

The First Step of Baiting Ants Indoors: Track Down the Problem Indoor ant baiting starts with finding the source. Inspect the area where the ants are first noticed. Common indoor locations of ant activity are the kitchen, laundry room and bathroom. These rooms tend to cater directly to what the ants are looking for – moisture, food and warmth. Once ants are found, the hunt is on! Instead of killing the ants, follow them. Since foraging ants are typically sent from a colony located outside the house in search of moisture and food to bring back, following ants is a good way to find out how they are entering the house.

Feed Ants Liquids Ants prefer liquid food to solid food because they are unable to digest and transport food in solid form. Solid foods must be carried back to the colony for additional processing by the larvae. Liquid baiting exploits this unique physiology, by eliminating the need for ants to process the bait before sharing with the rest of the colony and queen.

Location is Key When it comes to how to bait ants in home situations, placement is key. It’s important to place the bait near areas where ants have been observed. Using TERRO® indoor liquid ant bait stations eliminates the problem of the bait drying out and gives the ants a continuous supply of liquid, day and night.

Patience Pays Off Smaller ant infestations can usually be controlled within 24-48 hours. However, where there are very large or multiple colonies in the problem area, it can take up to 10 days to achieve complete control. Once a decrease in ant activity is noticed, remove the bait stations 3 to 4 days later, as long as no other ant activity is observed.

Avoid Contact Killers While Baiting Another key to successfully using ant baits, aside from proper bait placement, is making sure the ants find the bait, eat it and take it back to the nest to feed to the rest of the colony and queen. If a contact ant killer is used while baiting, the foraging ants may die before they can take the bait back to the colony, counteracting the effectiveness of the bait.

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