To many of us, pets are family. We wouldn’t want to do anything that may cause harm to our furry family members. You may have heard the horror stories of family pets being killed by ingesting poisonous household cleaning agents or toxic plants. Many ant killers can also be harmful and toxic to your pets. Some people who are trying to eliminate ants find that in the process they harm their pets. In this article, I will be going over information about pet-safe ant killer options so that you will know how to eliminate ant problems in your home while keeping your pets safe.
Ingredients That Are Harmful to Pets
When buying ant killer, it is important to get an ant killer with ingredients that will not harm your pets. To make sure that it won’t harm your pets, you should always check the ingredients. Never buy ant killers that contain any of the following: Amitraz, Acephate, Carbofuran, Chlorpyrifos, Diazinon, Disulfoton, Fenoxycarb, Fonofos, Malathion, Methomyl, Parathion, Permethrin, Propozur, Terbufos, or Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP). Permethrin can be used around dogs since it is often used in dog flea and tick treatment, but it cannot be used around cats. This ingredient is poisonous to cats, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Although it may seem very safe, borax is another ingredient that can be harmful to your pets. If your pet eats it, borax can lead to irritation and stomach upset. There is a risk of kidney injury if your pet eats a lot of it. Because of this, it is best to use ant killers that don’t contain borax.
How to Prevent Ants
To prevent carpenter ants or other types of ants from coming indoors, you may want to spray vinegar or lemon juice in areas that they may enter. Cinnamon will also work well when driving ants away, and it is non-toxic to pets. Also, try putting out natural plants that drive away ants.
Remember to always throw away crumbs and wipe up spills. Put food away rather than keeping food out on the counter. Ants are attracted to the food source, so try to minimize the amount of food that you leave out. Make sure to keep your house clean, and wash or wipe down items that ants would be attracted to (such as a garbage pail or your pet’s dish). The more unpleasant your home is to ants, there is a better chance that you will not get ants in the first place or you will be able to get rid of pesky ants more quickly.
Things to Look for in Pet Safe Ant Killers
If you want to kill ants but not harm your pets, look for diatomaceous earth. This ingredient is a bug killer that contains fossilized remains of small aquatic organisms. When sprinkled on ants or any bug with an exoskeleton, it compromises their waxy coating and eventually kills them. But diatomaceous earth doesn’t hurt mammals. Diatomaceous earth can be ordered online or purchased at local home and garden stores.
Peppermint oil is another safe ant killer and is a natural ant deterrent that will not harm your pets. The smell repels the ants from moving to other areas.
Homemade Ant Killers
If you are looking for a pet-safe, natural insecticide ant killer, then it may be a good idea for you to make your own homemade ant killer. Homemade ant killers can be simple and quick to make, as well as being very effective. Below are a few ideas for how you can make your own homemade ant killer.
Vinegar and Water
Fill up a spray bottle with half apple cider vinegar and the other half with water. Whenever you see ants, spray the mix directly on them. Another option is to use the spray in areas where ants can get inside before you see the ants. That way it will discourage the ants from coming inside because they are repelled by the acidity in the vinegar.
Some plants are known to drive away ants. Peppermint, sage, spearmint, and pennyroyal are just a few plants that can discourage ants from entering your home. Catnip is another herb that will drive away ants. If you have a cat, this is a good option since cats love it. Place the plants around windows and other areas where ants can enter your home. The smell of the plants detract the ants from spreading.
Ants dislike citric acid, which makes lemon juice a good choice to use. Spray the lemon juice in places where you think ants are entering. Lemon peels are also known to repel ants.
Pour cornmeal/flour in the area where the ants have invaded. Once ants eat the cornmeal or flour, it expands in their stomachs, efficiently killing them because they cannot digest it. Cornmeal and flour are safe for your pets to eat.
Alternative Control Methods
One proven way to get rid of ants is to get rid of their food source. Ants will keep coming back to a food source if it is available. One way to help prevent ants is to put food in plastic bins or airtight containers instead of just placing food in a cupboard. Once the food source is eliminated, ants should stop returning to get more.
Sprinkle cinnamon along the trail of ants can be found entering your home. Ants do not like the smell of cinnamon and it is non-toxic to household pets. Cinnamon essential oil may be used as a substitute for cinnamon grounds. Plus, it makes your home smell nice!
Another way to deter ants is to sprinkle ground black pepper all along the trail of ants. Ants will not cross the line of pepper and it is not dangerous for household pets.
The Benefits of Using a Pet Safe Ant Killer
There are many benefits to using a pet safe ant killer. Here are just a few benefits to using pet safe ant killers:
Your pet is safe: The biggest benefit is that your pet is safe. You won’t have to worry about your pet being in danger, or getting sick, or dying from poison.
Saves you money from a vet bill: You will not have to worry about spending your money on a vet bill because your pet became sick from getting into an ant killer.
Safe for children as well: When you have a pet safe ant killer, most of the time you will also have an ant killer that is safe for children.
There are ways of getting rid of ants without resorting to ant killers that may also harm your pets. I have shared and discussed some of those ways. Diatomaceous earth will kill ants by compromising an ant’s exoskeleton without harming mammals. Peppermint oil is also a natural ant deterrent that will keep ants away without harming your pets. Some homemade ant killers include mixing vinegar and water spraying it directly on the ants. Peppermint, sage, spearmint, catnip, and pennyroyal are all plants that can help to deter pesky ants. Another helpful way to get rid of ants is to get rid of their food source. All of these alternative ways to get rid of ants will keep your pet safe in the process. Though some of the ant killers on the market may work faster and be more efficient at killing ants, it’s not worth the risk to your well-loved house pets.
Related Article: Best Ant Killer – Our Top Choices and Overall Pick
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