Ants are one of the most common and persistent pests found in and around homes. This article will explain how you can get rid of ants once and for all. There are many different species of ants and they are able to adapt to most any condition. Ants will readily live under concrete, rocks and other debris and can go unnoticed for a long time. Once they establish themselves close to the home, they’ll surely get inside. This is when people start to take notice. Small ants will be seen on the counter top, in the bathroom or in the pets food. Eventually they’ll be randomly appearing throughout the entire home if left untreated so it’s always best to take a proactive stance when it comes to doing ant control.


If this is not the ant information you were looking for, we have other in depth articles posted here:          CARPENTER ANTS          FIRE ANTS        HARVESTER ANTS        PISS ANTS

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Ants come in all sizes and shapes. The most common ants include the acrobat, allegheny, argentine, bigheaded, carpenter, citronella, cornfield, crazy, cut, false honey, field, fire, flying, fungus, ghost, harvester, honey, larger yellow, leafcutting, little black, little fire, night, odorous house, parasol, park, pavement, pharaoh, pyramid, red imported, red town, small honey, southern fire, thief, velvet, velvety tree and whitefooted ants. Their color can vary too and though you might find them in something sweet one day, this same species may be found in a protein based food a day later. Additionally, ants are both annoying and persistent yet most species do not like direct confrontation with people or pets. That being said, they are still not welcome in the home and chances are high you have an ant infestation if you are seeing just a few inside. This is because ants like to hide and only a few of them venture far from their nest in search of food. These worker or scout ants don’t like to be seen and many times will travel on pathways which are hidden. Once they find a good food supply, they will lay a scent trail which other members of their colony will use as a sort of “highway”. This highway will swell with activity if it leads to something good and it’s many times this higher concentration of ants that gets everyone’s attention.



Remember, most ant problems originate from outside nests and activity. If the outside of your home is left untreated, local nests will be sending foraging workers onto your property all the time. Eventually some of these will find their way inside. Once inside, they will lay down a scent trail to bring in more ants. Foraging ants will first come in, grab some food and retreat back to the safe confines of their nests. But if the food they’re finding inside the home is bountiful the nest might decide to take up residence closer to the food source. This new concentration of ant activity will become a sort of extension of the original nest, something called a satellite nest, and it’s not uncommon for any ant infestation to be comprised of several satellite nests all linked together. This makes them extra hard to control and all the more reason to deal with them on all fronts.



Ant control can be achieved no matter what species you have or where the nests are located. The key is using our “three prong approach”. The three prongs” refers to the three areas you’ll need to treat. Since it’s not possible to know all their nest sites, failure to treat all areas will result in having an ongoing infestation. So to get long term ant control, do all the ant treatments in all the areas and you’ll knock them out for good.



Treating inside the home will be required if you are seeing any activity inside. But you shouldn’t use a spray. Traditional sprays will only kill the workers and the nest will quickly send in new troops. And though there are some new compounds which work different from contact kill sprays, we still recommend keeping their use to the outside. More on these liquid sprays below.


Advance Dual Ant Bait StationsBut first, you must do something about the problem inside. For these ants, some type of bait will be the most productive tool to use to control ants from the home. There are many types of bait available but we’ve found a few which seem to work on virtually all ants. For sheer convenience, DUAL CHOICE BAIT STATIONS are both easy to install and effective. They include both a sugar and protein/fat based attractive. This insures they’ll get noticed regardless of what the ants are eating. Place stations close to where you are seeing activity and trailing. Don’t leave the stations where people or pets will mess with them and make sure they are kept dry and free from water and other contaminates.

Advance Dual Ant Bait StationsDual Choice Stations:

Blue Bait GunOptigard Ant GelMaxforce Ant GelFor a more discrete bait placement, set out some MAXFORCE GEL or OPTIGARD. We have incredible results with the Maxforce Gel and if you have a lot of treating to do, the BAIT GUN might come in handy.

Maxforce Ant GelAnt Gel:

Optigard Ant GelOptigard Ant Gel:

Blue Bait GunBait Gun:

For small jobs, the tube comes with a syringe type plunger that will get the job done. The Maxforce is best used when you know the ants are feeding on something sweet. If you are unsure what they’re eating, go with the Drax Dual. It has both types of attractants, like the bait stations, and will surely get noticed at some point if placed where ants are foraging. Here is a video of some ants feeding on some Maxforce Gel. This product works great at getting rid of ants.


Pur BlackSince most infestations originate outside the home, it’s important to do a good inspection to see if you can do some exclusion to help keep the ants from getting in and getting rid of them for good. Remember, entry points should be reduced and/or eliminated with the use of some FOAM SEALENT. These cans are self charged and good for small jobs.

Pur BlackPur Black:


Pur Pro Gun 24"Pur Shooter Basic GunIf you have a lot of work to do, it would be wise to invest in one of the professional FOAM GUNS and maybe even the 24″ FOAM GUN. These tools will enable you to apply the sealant foam quickly and precisely without much waste or miss-application. In other words, they will more then pay for themselves if you have a lot of sealing to do.

Pur Shooter Basic GunFoam Gun:

Pur Pro Gun 24"Pur Gun 24″ :


Pur CleanerPur IPF FoamPur BlackYou’ll need the FOAM CANNISTERS for these guns, which easily fit on either applicator, and cover a much larger area then the smaller cans. If your home is prone to animal invasions, consider the FOAM WITH REPELLENT. This canister comes with expanding foam but includes a strong repellent which insects and animals do not like. It may be just what you need to make sure annoying insects and other undesirable home invaders aren’t able to find their way inside quite. Be sure to keep your guns clean by using some FOAM GUN CLEANER. This will help keep the gun functioning and ready to go to work when next needed. Doing effective ant control sometimes means doing some mechanical alteration of the structure and sealing cracks or seams really can help.

Pur BlackPur Black:

Pur IPF FoamFoam Repellent:

Pur CleanerPur Gun Cleaner:




Viper CypermethrinPump SprayerOnce you’re sure the home is fairly tight and free from ants getting inside, a good perimeter treatment should be done on the foundation. First, you’ll need a good SPRAYER. One of the pump sprayers we have will work fine. Next, get something like CYPERMETHRIN which ants and other insects tend to avoid. This will help keep them off the home which in turn will help get rid of ants. Cypermethrin can be used monthly and is an excellent product to use for most regular pest control.

Pump SprayerSprayers:

Viper CypermethrinCypermethrin:


Bifen ITDefense SCIf you want something that lasts longer, get a microencapsulated active which can last up to three months per treatment. DEFENSE SC and BIFEN are good choices. Both are odorless and effective on most any type of ant. Most homes will require 1-2 gallons sprayed around the outside and it’s important that you are thorough when doing this treatment.

Defense SCDefense SC:

Bifen ITBifen IT:


Lastly, the latest products coming to market are working even better. Instead of being fast acting like the traditional compounds, these new materials are quite different. They work slowly and only effect the ants after a few days. Their mode of action insures that ants which contact the spray will pick some up and bring it back to the nest. Once back at the nest, the active ingredient will have time to infiltrate the entire structure which ultimately will kill all the occupants. In the lab, these products work well. In the real world, they will work the same if used properly.

The key here is once again get good coverage when spraying. It’s important to treat the entire perimeter of the home. Missing or avoiding even one area could lead to treatment failure. Remember, all it takes is one route of entry or untreated pathway and the nest can many times circumvent your effort and continue to be a problem.

Optigard Flex LiquidPT-Phantom AerosolPhantom LiquidOne of the first products to hit the market using this concept was PHANTOM. It’s proven to work well on most any ant infestation and it’s now available in aerosol (as PT PHANTOM) so it’s ideal for small ant infestations that require limited spot treatments. The latest product released like Phantom is called OPTIGARD and it seems to work very well too so it seems as though we finally have a chemical concentrate option that can be used to eliminate ant infestations on structures without the old “colony budding” problem the old sprays presented.

Phantom LiquidPhantom EC:

PT-Phantom AerosolPhantom Aerosol:

Optigard Flex LiquidOptigard:


Ideally, you’ll use these products as replacements to the Cypermethrin or Suspend and you’ll still need to treat the yard and inside. But a good foundation spraying using either the Phantom or the Optigard could be the difference maker and enable you to get complete ant control. Remember, the traditional sprays will only kill what the contact. Phantom or Optigard will get the whole colony and when dealing with ants, this extra impact can be what makes the overall application a success. The following video does a good job of explaining just how to do a good foundation spray using any of the products listed above.



The last “prong” or area where you need to treat will be the yard to control ants in the area. This can be done using one of two approaches. Since ants can forage great distances, it’s important that you get a good bait or insecticide granule applied to these areas. The difference is simple.


Niban Fine Granule BaitMaxforce GranulesBait Granules like MAXFORCE GRANULES or NIBAN FG can be sprinkled around the home creating a type of “bait band” about 5-10 feet away from the foundation. Not much is needed; when applied right you won’t be able to see any trace of the material once it falls to the turf. And be sure to keep this band at least 5 feet away from the side of the foundation. This insures any liquid sprayed doesn’t contaminate the bait. Like spraying, it’s important to treat the entire perimeter of the structure. If the liquid spray was applied strong enough and thorough enough, it should control ants in the house and property and keep new invaders out. Now, as these ants forage for new ways to enter the home, they should find some of the “bait band” being offered and feed. By getting them before they enter you should be able to both reduce and eliminate the activity in the home within a couple of weeks.

Maxforce GranulesMaxforce Granules:

Niban Fine Granule BaitNiban FG:




Delta Gard GranulesComplete Insect Killer GranulesAlternatively, you could go with a treatment that is “contact” based. Like Cypermethrin or Suspend, these granules work when foraging pests contact them and minute amounts of pesticide rub off onto the insect. Granules using active ingredients like CYFLUTHRIN or DELTAGUARD G are two good options that work well. Foraging ants walking over the granules will absorb enough of the active to be killed without having to feed.

Complete Insect Killer GranulesLawn Granules:

Delta Gard GranulesDeltaGard:

Scatterbox HB Granule SpreaderLawn granules can be the better choice in many situations – especially when you don’t know where they are entering – because they use more of a “shotgun” type approach to getting ant control. When applied properly, the ants will have no choice but to walk over the treatment thus leading to their demise. Apply these with a good GRANULE SPREADER.

Scatterbox HB Granule SpreaderSpreaders:


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Comments on ANT CONTROL Leave a Comment

April 25, 2012

dino @ 9:40 pm #


Hi I tried Terro and combat and many other ant bait. They are all good initially, killed the nest and without ants for 2-3 months. However, when there ants again, I presume new colony, they will avoid the ant bait. The seems to know the ant bait will kill them. Now, I have tried almost 5 different types of ant bait and they refused to eat, knowing the ant bait is a poison to them. Care to comment on my situation ?

June 19, 2012

What would you recommend for ants inside already. Never see any activity outside or in until they swarm with the flyers at night. I physically removed the nest when I replaced the back door about 8 years ago. About a two summers ago I saw a little activity near the concrete stoop and put out bait. They ate, but with such little activity I did not think I got them all. Then this spring, for the first time since I removed them, the swarm came from around the inside door stop. I am guessing they are inside the wall.

June 20, 2012

Michael Wurster @ 12:23 pm #


Can the Phantom Spray be sprayed into a wall cavity with say the little plastic tube from a WD40 can? Would this be effective? They are definitely Ants. And they are definitely not foraging for food outside by any visible means near the nest.

July 18, 2012

Meg @ 12:45 pm #


I read your article and it was very informative. The only problem is I live in a second floor apartment and I can not treat outside. I can only rely on treating inside. I was using the raid ant killer spray and doing the whole outline of my apartment inside, as well as, the windows and doors. Though the strange thing is the ants are not in the kitchen or by any of the pet food but are mostly in the living room area where is no food present. I’m using also the bait traps as well. Is there anything else I can do?

April 22, 2014

Lisa @ 6:33 pm #


We have a horrible ant infestation all around our pool area. These are the ants that smell horrible when you kill them (they call them piss ants here in California). They also have a pretty nasty bite. We’ve tried everything from granules to sprays to traps. The granules work the best, but we have dogs and the risk of them getting into it is too great.

The pool area is about 1/4 acre, with ivy, trees of various kinds, misc plants, etc – all fully mature and a lot of them. There is some grassy area, but these ants don’t seem to be a problem anywhere there is grass (even on the rest of the property). Our natural ground is mostly DG, but of course the pool area has been landscaped, so there is topsoil as well. There are several large boulders that were left in place to enhance the landscape. These ants were a huge problem for the previous owners too and they pretty much ruin the pool for us as you can’t sit anywhere outside of the water without them crawling on you and biting. We have no trouble with these ants in or around the house at all. What do you recommend?

April 23, 2014
May 19, 2014

Robin @ 11:40 am #


We have a problem indoors. They’re much smaller than carpenters, tiny to small in size, most of them are black. They are popping up for the first time in almost every room in “small” numbers (mostly the scout and then some from the clan, though about 25 converged on kitchen counter one night). We had a leaking roof that was repaired. Could that moisture have attracted ants even to the attic? We are having remodeling done. There are open walls and I’ve seen a few ants going up and down the studs. I’m trying to think of every area that should be treated because we’ve never had this problem before. Right now there are ants coming out of our tub surround (will be repaired very soon) from underneath the tile board. It had separated from the flange so we duct taped it “temporarily” (a while ago).

I’ve used a perimeter spray for the outdoor ants, ant bait stations in and outside diatomaceous earth and that same house guard spray indoors. My problem is the bathroom tile board has cracked open in the corner and I’ve seen ants come out for the bait which they seem to have trouble finding. I want to treat them and kill them before I rip off that tape. I’m terrified theres quite a colony, possible several.

Your products helped me save 10 arborvitae trees that were dying many years ago. I am grateful for your advice. I trust you will recommend that right treatment again. I really don’t like the baits in the house. How can I get something behind that shower wall that will kill the queens too? Please answer soon. Thank you.

Robin @ 1:28 pm #


Jonathan, thanks for your good advice. Do you think I need four cans of Phantom spray based on what I told you? Was the other size of Phantom enough to make 2-3 gallons? Is the sprayer strong enough to handle the job?

I have a Cape Cod sized house. Also, is it safe to apply to the shower walls? Can I shower in it afterwards? Is there a drying time? I will await your answer. Thank you for the very quick reply. We are at wits end. My husband believes that I am making up the multiple queen/colony fact. I’m so glad you explained clearly and concisely what is occurring. I will order today once you have determined that I need that amount. Thank you again from the bottom of my ant-fear heart!

July 5, 2015

Kenneth Goodkin @ 5:39 pm #


I have a wall unit air conditioner and I live in Florida. When I turn the air conditioner off I always see a few ants near where the air comes out or on top the case. I do not see any ants on the days that the air conditioner is off. Thankyou. I recently purchased you gecko spray and glue traps.

July 6, 2015
July 10, 2015

Dawn @ 11:10 am #


My teenaged daughter recently got bit by a winged flying ant (black) inside our home and had a severe allergic reaction that required us to take her to the ER. Now she has to keep an Epi pen with her. Needless to say we want to do all we can do to get rid of any ants that we can. We have had an ant problem in the past (not winged) with them coming inside and getting into our cat’s food and other places. We used some of your Maxi force gel bait with much success but after reading your article I see we needed to also treat the outside of our home. We have lots of trees and bushes near our house. I am not sure out of all the products you mentioned which will be the best to keep the winged ants from flying or getting sucked into our house (I’m assuming that is what happens when we run our attic fan). We don’t see many of these ants but now that we know she is severely allergic we don’t want to see any around our house. Can you please recommend a course of treatment that would best solve this for us. Thanks a bunch!

July 11, 2015

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