I currently have an army of ants frenetically scurrying around my bathroom. Why? Because they happened upon a single stray sesame seed. Times must be desperate in the world of ants. But not to worry–I have a secret weapon that works every time. Behold:
I first tried Terro Ant Killer two years ago when our home was beseiged by carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are those jumbo-sized ants that like to tunnel through moist, rotting wood. Not quite as bad as a termite infestation, but they can wreak havoc on your house. And I don’t know about you, but jumbo anything crawling around my house is gross, whether or not it causes damage. I wanted them out.
We tried a variety of different solutions, including poisonous spray that claimed to kill ants on contact, and a powder that, when sprinkled around the foundation, would prevent ants from invading the house in the first place. All of the products specifically claimed to work on carpenter ants. But these ants are notoriously difficult to be rid of, and nothing seemed to work.
Finally, I decided to try Terro. It wasn’t specifically for carpenter ants, and the formula seemed a bit too simple to actually work, but I had nothing to lose. I especially liked that it is essentially non-toxic (the active ingredient is nothing more than Borax, which many people use for laundry), unlike the variety of poisons we had tried before. The stuff has been around for 85 years, and is so safe that the Terro website literally states that a dog could eat it and not be any worse for wear. It’s harmless if it gets on your skin, and cleans up easily with soap and warm water.
We set out the bait at various locations around the house where we had spotted the ants. We also purchased some outdoor traps. The bottle states that “complete control” may take up to two weeks. Although the ants discovered the bait very quickly, it did take a while before their numbers dwindled. After two weeks, however, the carpenter ants were completely gone. They hadn’t just high-tailed it out of our house; they were dead. I knew that for a fact because I had the rather unfortunate privilege of discovering the “midden pile“, essentially a graveyard for dead ants, created by the last remaining survivors. There were hundreds of dead carpenter ants in a return air duct. Although vaccuuming them up was a disgusting experience that I don’t ever want to repeat, I was thrilled to know that the product had worked!
Terro is a “sweet food” that attracts the worker ants. It doesn’t kill them instantly. Instead, they bring it back to the nest to feed other ants. This means that the entire colony is wiped out once they consume lethal amounts of Borax. I have used Terro ever since our carpenter ant invasion, and it has worked every time. Smaller ants are killed within days. Larger ants will take a little bit longer. Although we have seen one or two carpenter ants here and there, we have not had a large problem ever since we wiped them out that first year. Once the ants discover their “treat”, you will see them encircling the drops of Terro, consuming it to take back to the nest. A few may die on the spot, but most spare you the sight. You will have to see live ants for a bit longer than you may like, but before long there will be none at all.
My latest visitors enjoying a deadly feast of Terro on my bathroom floor…
Terro makes a variety of traps filled with their liquid ant killer. The outdoor traps work well, but for indoor use I like to just use a bottle of the liquid ant killer and place it on pieces of cardboard. It’s much more cost-effective, and often easier to use. We did use the indoor liquid bait traps for the carpenter ants, but I discovered that the intrepid smaller ants like to dam up the traps, somehow managing to make them overflow (I guess they can’t be bothered to climb up into the trap after a while). The liquid cleans up easily, but I’d rather not have to deal with that. Place the ant killer where you have seen ants traveling, and you will be amazed at how quickly they discover the bait. They seem to prefer it over anything else that they could be getting into.
Now that we have a baby in the house, I am especially grateful for a harmless, easy-to-use product that gets the job done! If you’re tired of sharing your home with ants, give Terro a try!
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