What Kills Ants?
You know you have an ant infestation, and you know you need some type of product to kill them. There are countless products out there, so it can be hard to know which ones will get the job done. The answer depends on whether you want to kill just the ants you can see or all the ants (i.e., the entire colony). Baits and gels work in a completely different manner than many other pest control options.
How Baits and Gels Work
Baits and gels are different from other ant killers because they are designed to attract pests. To an ant, a bait or gel is a tasty source of food. Ants are hard-wired to take any food they find back to the colony, where they share it with their colony mates. In the process of returning to the colony, ants leave a pheromone trail so other ants can return to the food source. This tendency to share will work in your favor to eventually eliminate the colony. Embedded in the bait or gel is a poison with a delayed lethal effect. The delay gives the ants time to share the poison with other ants before it kills them. Repeated use of a bait or gel results in a domino effect that allows you to get poison into the systems of all the ants, even the ones you never see. Poison quickly spreads and kills the entire colony.
How Other Ant Killers Work
Many other types of insecticides are contact killers - they are designed for direct application on bugs you find scooting across your floor. While you may feel accomplished after taking out a whole line of ants with, keep in mind that they kill the ants you see, but there is still the colony to deal with. Ants build their colonies underground, which is difficult to reach; you won’t find it unless you dig up your backyard. These types of pest killers can be effective on bugs you can see, but you will have difficulty eliminating the entire colony by exclusively using them.
Attack the Problem at the Source
Baits and gels employ the ants themselves to spread the poison for you, and they go where you can’t: the source. Visit our Ant Baits page to learn more about using Combat baits and gels to kill the ants you can’t see, and check out our Prevention Tips page to find out how to prevent future ant infestations.