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What ant bait do professionals use?

When dealing with ant infestations, professionals often turn to baits as an effective way to eliminate colonies. Ant baits contain toxins mixed with food attractants that worker ants bring back to the nest and share, eventually killing the queen and destroying the colony. But with so many bait products on the market, which ones do pest control companies rely on most?

Top Professional Ant Baits

Here are some of the most commonly used and trusted ant baits by pest control professionals:

Advion Ant Gel

Advion is a popular gel bait containing the active ingredient indoxacarb. It works against many household ant species, including fire ants, Argentine ants, pavement ants, and odorous house ants. The bait attracts ants within hours and is carried back to the nest for consumption. Death typically occurs within 1-3 days.

Maxforce FC Ant Killer Bait Gel

This bait gel uses the active ingredient fipronil to kill harvester ants, Argentine ants, pharaoh ants, pavement ants, and other common species. The delayed-action formula allows time for ants to consume the bait and distribute it within the colony before dying off.

Amdro Kills Ants Ant Block

Containing hydramethylnon, Amdro blocks are popular granular baits that kill ants within 3-7 days. They are effective against Argentine ants, fire ants, carpenter ants, harvester ants, and other species. The weather-resistant formula stays potent even when wet.

Terro Liquid Ant Baits

Terro liquid ant baits use sodium tetraborate decahydrate (borax) as the active ingredient. The sweet liquid attracts ants who take it back to the nest and share it with the colony. The bait starts killing ants within 3 days for harvester ants and 1 week for larger colonies. It works on ants, cockroaches, and silverfish.

Recruit HD Ant Bait Stations

These child-resistant bait stations contain the active ingredient noviflumuron, which stops reproduction by interfering with insect growth. Any ant that feeds on the bait will be unable to molt or reproduce. This gradually eliminates the colony over 3-4 weeks. Recruit HD controls fire ants, carpenter ants, pharaoh ants, and other species.

Bait Selection Considerations

When choosing ant baits, pest professionals consider factors like:

  • Ant species – Certain baits are more effective for some ant species than others.
  • Colony size – Larger colonies may require more bait placement points.
  • Bait formula – Gel, granule, or liquid bait presentation based on species preferences.
  • Active ingredient – Different insecticides impact ants in different ways.
  • Speed of control – Some baits act faster than others.
  • Indoor/outdoor use – Some baits are designed for use only indoors or outdoors.
  • Bait boxes – Lockable, tamper-resistant bait stations for certain situations.

How Ant Baits Work

Understanding how ant baits function can explain why professionals rely on them for control:

  • Worker ants are attracted to the bait, which contains food/sugars ants crave.
  • Ants ingest the bait and return to the nest, where it is shared with other ants.
  • The bait contains slow-acting toxins, allowing time for ants to distribute it widely.
  • The toxins disrupt physiological processes, leading to death within days/weeks.
  • As more ants feed, the toxins spread through the colony’s food reserves.
  • The queen eventually dies when fed the bait, eliminating future reproduction.

This process allows the toxins to infiltrate the entire colony for complete control, unlike fast-acting sprays that only kill on contact. The delayed action also prevents ants from associating the bait with illness, so they continue feeding on it.

Baiting Tips for Professionals

For best results, pest professionals use these baiting strategies:

  • Proper identification of the ant species to select suitable bait.
  • Following label directions carefully for each product.
  • Placing baits along foraging trails and near nest entrances.
  • Using enough bait points to accommodate colony size.
  • Replenishing baits as needed until ant activity ceases.
  • Cleaning up competing food sources ants may prefer.
  • Combining baits with residual sprays as part of an IPM approach.
  • Educating clients on conducive conditions and sanitation practices to avoid reinfestation.

Consumer vs. Professional Products

While some ant bait products are available to consumers, professional formulas offer advantages:

Consumer Ant Baits Professional Ant Baits
Lower concentration of active ingredients Higher concentration for increased effectiveness
Limited active ingredient options Range of advanced active ingredients
Pre-filled bait placements Bulk baits allow customizable placement
Child-resistant packaging not required Tamper-resistant bait stations available


Professional pest control technicians have access to a wide selection of specialty bait products not available to the public. By leveraging baits containing advanced insecticidal formulas, they can implement targeted, effective programs to eliminate ant colonies. Products like Advion, Maxforce, Amdro, Terro, and Recruit baits are proven performers relied upon by professionals for tough ant problems.