How do Ant Traps Work?

Ant traps work by attracting and killing ants. Some contain an insecticide bait, which lures in the ants with the scent of food. Ants enter the trap, grab the bait, and then carry the bait back to the nest where they share it with other worker ants, larvae (baby ants) and the queen. Eating the bait kills the ants. Killing the queen ant eliminates the colony.

 

Ant traps are designed for indoor and outdoor use. They are safe to use in homes with children and pets when kept out of reach and used according to label directions. Ant traps may come pre-loaded with bait, or you may need to buy bait separately and fill the traps yourself.

 

How do I use ant traps?

Use ant traps where the pests are active in your home or business. Inspect for ant activity and follow ant trails to determine the best spots to place ant traps. It also helps to know the ant species causing your problem, because each species behaves differently and inhabits different areas.

 

Common places to find ants are under sinks, bathtubs and appliances, along baseboards, windowsills, door thresholds, cabinet edges and on countertops. Outdoors, you’ll often find ants along foundation, sidewalk and patio edges, in firewood and under landscape timbers and lawn ornaments.

 

How long do ant traps take to work?

Generally, ant traps take several days, and up to a few weeks, to work.

 

The insecticides used in ant baits are slow acting. This allows more ants to transfer the bait throughout the colony to kill more ants. By comparison, a fast-acting ant killer, like a bug spray that kills ants on contact, will eliminate the ants you see, but it won’t kill the many, many ants you don’t see living in the nest. In fact, the ants that aren’t killed by bug spray may panic and split the colony into multiple nests as a defensive mechanism. This makes for an even bigger ant problem.

 

How do I know the ant traps are working?

You know ant traps are working -- and that you’ve placed them in the correct locations -- when you see more ants marching to and from the traps. Sounds crazy, right? But you want the ant traps to attract even more ants because that means more bait is being brought back to the colony, more ants are eating the bait, and more ants are dying as a result.

 

A common mistake in do-it-yourself or DIY ant control is not using enough ant traps. Generally, you should place one trap every 2 to 3 feet where ants are trailing or active indoors. Follow the directions on the ant trap product label, which will tell you how many traps to use and where.  

 

How long do ant traps last?

Ant traps and ant bait typically last about 30 days. We advise inspecting traps weekly, however, to make sure an adequate amount of bait remains in the trap and that liquid bait has not evaporated.

 

How can I get better results from ant traps?

You can make ant traps more effective by doing the following:

  1. Eliminate other food and water sources – Clean up spilled food, crumbs and greasy appliances and fix water leaks. When competing food and water sources are eliminated, the ants will more likely visit the traps.
  2. Don’t use bug spray when using ant traps – Insecticide spray will repel the ants. If you apply it near traps, the ants will avoid the traps. Ant killer spray also causes some ant species to panic and splinter into multiple nests, which makes control more difficult.
  3. Don’t use cleaning products on active ant trails – It’s reasonable to want to clean up evidence of ant activity, but don’t wipe away ant trail pheromones while the ants are actively feeding in traps. Remember, you want as many ants as possible to find the bait and the pheromone trails help them do this.
  4. Be patient – If you want to resolve your ant problem for good, you need to give the ant traps and bait time to work. Also, don’t move traps when ants are actively feeding.

 

What are the best ant traps in Canada?

The best ant traps in Canada can be purchased from Pest HQ, which sells professional pest control products to the do-it-yourself or DIY market. We are specialists in the control of pests and only sell the best ant traps and the best ant bait approved for use in Canada and that meet our exacting standards for quality and effectiveness.

 

Ants can be difficult to control and while you can make homemade ant traps to try to eliminate them, we’ve found the greatest success is achieved by using ant traps scientifically proven to control these pests. 

 

In addition to using the best ant traps, learn how to make your home or business less attractive to invading ants and how to keep ants out for good.

 

Also read:

How to use Insecticide Baits

How to Get Rid of Ants

7 Common Ant Pests in Canada

Why Do I Have Ants?

How to Inspect for Ants

 

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