Ants in the kitchen

Yes, its that time of year. I got ant traps and they don’t seem to be working , Not only that but the one I had under the sink seems to be getting eaten - maybe by a mouse I did not know I had! Anyone have ny recs for good ant bait? Has anyone tried Terro? I used them and it seems the liquid inside comes out so I stopped using them? Has anyone had that happen? Thanks, HOs.

Terro used to be my go-to. You have discovered its downside, though. Terro bait is sticky and I think sweet, so I’d keep it away from pets and anything that’s not easy to wipe down.

That said, our old kitchen was subject to being invaded by ants in hot weather and Terro worked. (I wanted to avoid sprays and more toxic stuff.) Once ants found the bait, they would swarm it and take it back to the colony. Not the most appealing situation but effective. We needed to move the traps periodically to keep the ants hitting the bait.

Hope this helps you decide.

1 Like

Terro baits are about the only thing I’ve found that works on the ants we get invading the house every year, this year we used the outdoor baits and so far we haven’t seen any ants in the house. The outdoor ones would probably be less prone to leakage than the indoor ones if you wanted to use them inside.


I am at war with ants right now- my yard and the basement. I have tried all kinds of things- natural and chemical. Borax with icing sugar, cayenne pepper, hot water on hills- all the chemical ones would be different from the options you have in the US.

1 Like

Borax is the active ingredient in Terro and the carrier liquid seems to look and behave something like simple syrup: viscous and clear. I have never tried mixing Borax with simple syrup as a DIY method myself but if you happen to have both items in the house, maybe worth an experiment?

Terro worked pretty well for me, also Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer spray.

It’s a constant struggle - Grandma had battled ants in this house before she died 10 years ago, then I moved in and continued the war. They’re pretty much at bay, but I still see a few here and there. It’s a big yard with who knows how many millions of ants are lurking out there. I’ve also spread granulated stuff on the grass a few times.

Ants are so gross, good luck! And I think I’ll get more outdoor Terro packs to go around the foundation, just in case, so thanks for the reminder.

1 Like

Bay leaves and cheap hot sauce or cayenne.
I like using the hot sauce because they won’t wade through it.
The bay leaves seem to work well stuck in crevices.
Over time all methods seem to diminish in
effectiveness so I mix them up. Ants are smart little critters!

Grant’s ant bait has worked best for me.

I’ve used the Terro baits in the kitchen–counter and in cupboards. Just be sure you don’t have any little hands around that could move them around and cause the liquid to emerge. Be patient, it took a while in our case.


Wondering if your ant problem was solved. I have a outdoor patio inside the house that starts to have ants problem. Want to eliminate them totally!!

Wouldn’t it be an inside patio in that case?
Inquiring minds…

1 Like

They seem to be gone. And my ant traps disappeared! Those were some determined ants!

Very right!

1 Like

Lucky you! They have moved!

Mine took the bail, but still very much alive and kicking.

Indoors, I use a mix of boric acid and diatomaceous earth. Outdoors, I use:

At my parents’ place, I have to use the chemical indoors, too.

We got re-invaded and this morning I was loaded with ants! I had a few Terro left. I put one down and within 2 hours there were several ants inside. I put another one down and it got almost loaded within 10 minutes. It’s really gross, but it’s working! Of course one started to leak immediately so I tossed it.

1 Like

Am I the only one that uses Raid Ant Motels? You get about 6 in a package, I stuff them under the fridge and behind the dishwasher etc…a day or two and the ants are all gone. Until next year, that is!

Ants can be grouped into two, major dietary groups: one prefers sugars and starches and the other is attracted to oil, grease, protein. While there is some crossover, knowing the food preference gives one a clue as to how effective a bait will be.

Borax and Boric Acid baits get taken back to the colony and eventually kill or sterilize the queen(s). A sugar bait can be made from:
2 cups sugar
1 cup warm water, into which is dissolved 2 TBS Boric Acid-you’ll need to stir this around for awhile to get it dissolved, before adding the sugar.

If too much Boric Acid or Borax is added, it will repel ants. No bait, even correctly mixed, always works. It can take many days to finally kill the colony. Keep this bait out of the reach of children and pets. I use shallow jar lids, placed in cabinets.

I suspect 2 TBS powdered Boric acid can be thoroughly mixed into a cup of butter for ants that go for oils.

These recipes can be reduced for smaller volumes.

Several perimeter or spot spray insecticides are listed for ants. Some label indoor use for cracks, crevices. You can search for the “specimen label” on:
Suspend SC
D-Fense SC

These Pyrethroid compounds have relatively lower mammalian toxicity, but high toxicity to insects. Active ingredients can include: micro-crystalline Deltamethrin, Bifenthrin, or others. Always read and follow label instructions! I’ve used all of the brands listed above, with good success. The sprays mix with water and are essentially odorless when dry.


I have never seen an ant inside the Terro pack.

Really? Holy smoke - there were so many in there yesterday and they ate all the bait! it was quite disgusting. I just keep telling myself, at least it’s not roaches!