Ant Killers

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

An ant problem, if left too long, can lead to big headaches in your home. To save money on pest control services, you can take matters into your own hands. But be careful: since youíre dealing with poison, itís important to read instructions carefully.



The Basics

  • Try to figure out exactly what species you’re dealing with before you go to the hardware store. This helps you target the problem.

  • Avoid broad-use poisons that can also kill beneficial insects.

  • You can choose from a few different application formats:
    • Powder: a low concentration that is ready-to-use. Avoid using on windy days/areas. Works well inside walls and hard-to-reach areas.

    • Liquid: ready-to-use aerosol or spray, easy to target specific areas, kills bugs on contact.

    • Bait: Safe to use anywhere, even next to food and dishes. Works continuously to kill a variety of household ants as workers take bait back to the queen in the nest.

  • Sometimes applying a combination of the above items is most effective

Be Aware

  • Read the instructions and safety warnings carefully.

  • Earth-friendly products are still toxic.

  • If you or your neighbours have children or pets, be extremely careful where you apply the poison.

  • Some liquid insecticides are oil-based, which can stain fabric. Test a small, inconspicuous section first.

  • Never use insecticides areas of food prep, children’s toys or play areas, or pet dishes and areas. Bait is ok in some situations, but be aware that curious kids and pets may open up the packets.

   Test Criteria

We tested each the following products on 5 groups of ants collected from an infested home:

  • Wilson Ant Powder: $3.95 per 350 g
  • Wilson Oil-Based Liquid – Aerosol: $5.95 per 350 g
  • Chemfree Insectigone Water-Based Liquid – Pump: $7.98 per 350 g
  • Raid Earth Friendly Powder: $14.75 per 350 g
  • Ant-B-Gon Bait Trap: $2.96 for 3 traps

Our tests and specific results included:

Overall effectiveness

  • After a week of watching and waiting, the only product that had a 100% mortality rate in our controlled lab test was Chemfree’s Insectigone.

  • In our garden test, the Chemfree had the same effectiveness, and the sprays did kill on contact.

General observations

  • All products smelled bad, except the bait, which didn’t have a noticeable odour.

  • The powders were messy. Plus, if you aren’t careful, you could breathe it in.

   Our Top Pick

We had to go for the total annihilation favourite. Our top pick: Chemfree’s Insectigone, which fixed our ant problem without leaving any powdery mess.

Remember: when you've tried multiple options and had no success, it’s time to call in professional exterminators.


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