People keep all sorts of animals as pets, including creepy crawly ants. Yes, it’s true, insect enthusiasts build ant colony enclosures called formicariums. These often elaborate colonies allow ant lovers to observe workers digging tunnels, queens laying eggs, and soldiers defending their territory. Assuming you want to get rid of ants, and not build a home for them with hundreds pounds of dirt, special care should be taken concerning your dogs or cats.
The first trick to keeping pets safe is not attracting ants to your house in the first place. Like most other sentient creatures, ants are mainly concerned with finding food and water. Every crumb in your kitchen cabinet or on the floor is an ant magnet, perfect for carrying back to the colony. Make a habit of sweeping crumbs off your shelves and counters, vacuuming the floor, and keeping open packages of food in airtight containers. If ant scouts can’t find a good food supply, they’ll move on to the next target.
While you can control the loose food floating around your kitchen, grease ants love nothing more than dog and cat food. It’s meaty, nutritious, and sitting on the floor in an open bowl. To discourage ants from lining up to gorge on Fido and Ms. Kitty’s food, you need to build a bowl moat. Fill a large outer bowl, or a shallow pie tin, with an inch of water. Place the pet food in a smaller inner bowl. Pets can reach over the moat to eat while ants trying to cross will drown.
One of the safest ways to kill ants that are already in the house is with ant bait stations. Combat Source Kill Ant Bait and Source Kill Max Ant Bait are irresistible to ants. The ant food and insecticide mixture within the baits stations is not easily accessible to pets. The ants take the bait back to the nest and it kills the entire colony, putting an end to your ant problem. Bait stations should be placed behind appliances, in the backs of cabinets, or around cracks and crevices where ants come into the home. They should not be left out in the open or anywhere that a curious dog or cat might start nosing around. That being said, the EPA considers Combat Ant Bait stations of low toxicity to pets. Place them around the house before an ant infestation occurs and you won’t be barking up the wrong tree.