You have an ant problem – a serious one. You’re ready to declare war on these pests, but there’s just one problem: your pets. Most of the products you’ve researched – indoors and outdoors – are toxic to pets. You have no interest in spraying or applying any kind of product that might harm your furry friends.
Here’s the good news: There are pet-safe ant killers that actually work.
We’re going to share some of our top picks for pet-safe ant killers so that you can find the right one for your home.
Table of Contents
- Top-rated 8 Pet Safe Ant Killer Products That Actually Work
- 1. Harris Diatomaceous Earth
- 2. EcoSmart Organic Insect Killer
- 3. Orange Guard
- 4. EcoSmart 33507
- 5. Wondercide Ready-to-Spray
- 6. EcoSmart Organic Home Pest Control
- 7. Harris Ant Killer Liquid Borax
- 8. Eco Defense Home Pest Control Spray
- FAQs About Pet Safe Ant Killers
OUR TOP PICK
Harris Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is one of the most effective natural ant killers. It works by destroying the exoskeletons of the ants, killing them on contact. The great thing about this product is that it’s food-grade. It’s safe to use around pets and humans, but it’s deadly to all species of ants.
- 5lb bag
- Duster included for easy application
- Kills all species of ants
- Organic – no fillers or additives
Top-rated 8 Pet Safe Ant Killer Products That Actually Work
One of the most effective natural ant killers is diatomaceous earth. It’s harmless to pets and people, but it’s deadly to ants. In fact, you can even eat food-grade diatomaceous earth.
Harris, a well-known and respected brand, offers a 5lb bag of this 100% ground freshwater diatomaceous earth with absolutely no fillers or additives.
Harris’ diatomaceous earth comes with a powder duster for easy application. It’s OMRI (Organic Minerals Research Institute) listed, too. This is a non-profit organization that analyzes products against organic standards.
The diatomaceous earth from Harris is mined in Nevada and then packaged in Georgia, so you can be sure that it’s safe for use in your yard and around pets.
If you need another reason to like the Harris brand, you’ll be happy to hear that buying their diatomaceous earth goes to a good cause. The company donates 10% of its profits to support the local Etowah Valley Humane Society.
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The great thing about this diatomaceous earth is that it affects all insects with exoskeletons. You can use it in the garden, near the house, inside the house – anywhere you please. You don’t have to worry about Fido getting into it because it won’t hurt him. In fact, some pet owners actually give their dogs diatomaceous earth as a supplement to keep parasites and fleas at bay.
- Highly effective against ants – destroys their exoskeletons
- Food-grade product is safe to use virtually anywhere
- Company donates a portion of its profits to a local humane society
- Comes with a duster for easy application
- May not necessarily kill the colony
EcoSmart’s Organic Insect Killer comes in a convenient granule form that can be applied to your lawn and landscaping. A single bag can treat up to 5,000 square feet, and its organic insecticide is safe for use around pets.
What does this product contain?
- 2% clove oil
- 0.6% thyme oil
- 97.4% other ingredients, which includes: sawdust, starch, wintergreen oil and granite
EcoSmart’s product kills on contact, and it won’t contaminate groundwater supplies. Just reapply every 2-4 weeks (or after a rainstorm) to keep ants at bay.
Along with ants, these granules can also kill fleas, ticks and mosquitos. The oils add a nice fresh smell to your yard, too.
- Easy to apply
- Uses organic ingredients, including essential oils
- Safe for the environment and pets
- Can treat a large area with one bag
- Must be re-applied often and after rain
3. Orange Guard
If you want a product that kills on contact and repels, Orange Guard may be a good option. This broad-range natural insecticide kills on contact and acts as a residual repellent.
The key active ingredient in this spray is d-Limonene, or orange peel extract.
Orange Guard is a water-based product that’s safe for use around pets, humans and even food. Use it indoors or outdoors.
All of the ingredients in this product are on the FDA GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list. The OMRI, which we talked about in the first review, has also listed this spray as allowed for use in organic production.
Orange peel is a natural insect repellent. Using this spray will keep the ants away without necessarily destroying their colony. This allows you to keep your home insect-free without disrupting nature.
Orange Guard is EPA-registered and is now available to the everyday consumer. It works on all types of ants, including fire ants, as well as fleas, spider mites, aphids, roaches and more. Use it in your home to keep ants away, or use it in your vegetable garden to keep crop-destroying pests at bay.
- Safe to use around pets, children and food
- Made from natural orange peel
- Can kill multiple species of ants
- Won’t kill the ant colony; will only kill on contact
In addition to their lawn granules, EcoSmart also offers a pest control spray that kills on contact. This product works on more than 100 home pests, including ants, fleas, roaches and more. Non-staining, this spray is safe enough for you to use along the perimeter of the home. It acts a repellent, too.
The key active ingredients in this spray include:
- 2-Phenethyl Propionate: 5%
- Clove Oil: 0.50%
- Rosemary Oil: 0.50%
- Peppermint Oil: 0.50%
- Thyme Oil: 0.50%
- Other Ingredients (water, lecithins and potassium oleate): 93.25%
The spray is safe to use anywhere in the home – even around food – because it contains 100% food-grade ingredients.
- Spray bottle makes it easy to apply directly to ant invasion
- Kills on contact
- Uses natural, food-grade ingredients
- Kills over 100 different home pests
- Won’t kill the nest
Wondercide’s ready-to-spray product kills and repels ants, fleas, ticks and other household pests. One 32-ounce jug of this product can treat up to 5,000 square feet of space. It’s safe to use around pets, kids, plants and beneficial insects, like bees and butterflies.
Wondercide’s product is 98% naturally-derived, and it works to treat the entire lifecycle, from eggs to larvae, pupae and adults.
How does Wondercide work? It’s key active ingredients include:
- 90% cedar oil
- 10% ethyl lactate
Cedar oil is a potent, effective insecticide that affects octopamine, which is essential for regulating heart rate, behavior and movement. The oil blocks the octopamine neurotransmitter, which repels pests from the area. If insects come in contact with the spray, they suffocate and die.
Mammals don’t have octopamine neurotransmitters, so they’re not affected by the oil.
The jug includes a sprayer that makes it easy to apply this product. You can refill the jug when it’s empty so that you can continue using the sprayer. This product is both dog friendly and cat friendly.
The great thing about this product is that it’s ready to spray. There’s no need to dilute it, like with concentrate products. Simply buy it, attach the sprayer, and use as directed.
- Safe for the environment and around pets
- Cedar oil naturally repels and destroys insects
- Comes with a sprayer for easy use
- Can treat up to 5,000 square feet of space
- May attract carpenter bees due to the cedar wood scent
Another great, natural insecticide from EcoSmart. Their Home Pest Control product comes in a large jug with a sprayer for easy outdoor application. Because it contains natural ingredients, you don’t have to keep your dogs or cats out of the yard after spraying it.
This product is 100% organic, and contains the following active ingredients:
- Peppermint oil: 0.5%
- Rosemary oil: 0.5%
- Inert ingredients (water, potassium oleate, lecithins, xanthan gum, white mineral oil): 99%
The ingredients work together to kill insects on contact. Along with ants, this product will also kill and repel mites and other garden insects.
The 64-ounce jug allows you to treat a large area at once. The peppermint and rosemary oils also give this product a pleasant scent. It won’t hurt pets, but the strong scents of the oils may naturally keep them away.
- Easy to apply to a large area of the yard
- Sprayer makes it easy to apply the product
- Contains natural plant oils
- Kills on contact and repels ants
- May not work on fire ants
If you want a product that will kill the entire colony, Harris Ant Killer Liquid Borax will do the trick. These bait traps contain 3 ounces of liquid borax poison, which has been proven to kill ants. Each package contains 9 bait trays, which can be spread over large areas to maximize effectiveness.
Borax is the key active ingredient in this product. It’s a naturally-occurring mineral that kills insects naturally.
Ants will be attracted to the sweet-smelling bait, and bring it back to the colony. This product will work best on sweet-eating ants, like Argentine, acrobat, pavement and little black ants.
Harris’ natural ant traps are unique in that they will actually kill the queen, sending the colony into complete collapse. The traps are easy to lay, and they’re safe to use around pets. That said, you still may want to keep your pets away from them. The liquid won’t hurt pets, but it can cause some digestive distress.
If you need a natural product that will wipe out the colony, this is it. It can take up to two weeks for the colony to die, but it will die as long as the ants are taking the bait.
- Easy to use
- Liquid bait kills the entire colony
- Contains borax, a proven, natural ant killer
- Only works with sweet-eating ants. Protein/fat-loving ants may not take the bait
Eco Defense’s Home Pest Control Spray kills and repels insects naturally. The spray is fast-acting and long-lasting to tackle your ant problem with ease.
Because the ingredients are natural, this spray is safe to use around pets and even children. Along with ants, this product also kills and repels spiders, ants, earwigs, silverfish, scorpion, mites, stink bugs and other common household pests.
This spray is certified USDA biobased, and backed by the company’s 60-day money back guarantee.
The key active ingredients in this spray include:
- Sodium lauryl sulfate: 4%
- Geranium oil: 0.11%
- Peppermint oil: 1%
Inactive ingredients include ethyl lactate yeast, distilled water and citric acid.
- Kills and repels a variety of ant species and other insects
- Contains natural plant oils
- Easy to use
- Spray allows you to control treated area
- Won’t kill the entire nest
FAQs About Pet Safe Ant Killers
What Types of Insecticides are Pet-Friendly?
There are many natural ingredients that are both pet-safe and toxic to insects. Certain plants and oils can kill ants as well as natural powders, like diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous earth has actually been recommended by the Canadian government as an alternative to chemical sprays.This talc-like powder is actually the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. The bugs come in contact with it, it impacts their waxy outer coating and turns their insides into bug jerky. While toxic to insects, diatomaceous earth is not poisonous to mammals. In fact, we can actually eat food-grade diatomaceous earth.
Other pet-safe, natural ant killers include:
- Essential oils, like thyme, clove, peppermint, geranium and wintergreen
- 2-Phenethyl propionate
- Cedarwood oil
- Borax or boric acid
These natural ingredients are safe to use around pets, and they get the job done by killing any ants that come in contact with them.
Are Pet-Safe Products as Effective as Regular Poison?
They can be, but it really depends on how you apply the product. Baits with borax, for example, can be taken back to the nest and shared with other members of the colony. Within days, all of the ants are dead, including the queen.
Sprays can be really effective against ants, but they won’t be able to bring the spray back home to the nest. With that said, sprays can be a really great option for killing ants that are just checking out your home to see if there’s any food.
Why are There Ants in My Home?
This is a question that everyone asks when they find ants in their homes. Many people blame themselves and wonder if their homes are dirty. The truth is that ants invade all types of homes. You can have the cleanest home on the block and still deal with an ant invasion.
Because homes all have three things ants want: food, water and shelter.
It doesn’t matter whether you live in the suburbs, a city or out in the middle of nowhere, ants can invade your home. A tiny crack in a window sill and a few crumbs on the kitchen counter are all that’s needed to attract ants.
How Do You Prevent Ants?
It can be difficult to prevent ant invasions. They’re resourceful, crafty insects that can fit into the tiniest of cracks.
Prevention should start with access. This means sealing any holes or cracks along:
- The foundation
- Window sill
Sealing cracks and holes will keep ants from getting into your home in the first place.
Laying down ant bait or granules along the perimeter of your home can also stop ants before they enter your home.
Along with sealing cracks and holes, you’ll also want to:
- Keep unrefrigerated food in sealed containers
- Keep a tidy kitchen
- Keep garbage and food scraps out of reach
Can Pet Safe Products be Applied to Vegetable Gardens?
That really depends on the product itself. The product label should provide warnings or information about use in or near vegetable gardens.
Some products, like food-grade diatomaceous earth, can typically be applied near or in vegetable gardens. It’s not toxic to pets or people – or other mammals for that matter.
Products that contain essential oils or sulfates may or may not be safe for vegetable gardens. Some essential oils can damage plants, but most should be okay for use in gardens. Again, it’s important to read the product’s label and follow the directions accordingly.
Will Pet-Friendly Ant Killers Destroy the Colony?
That depends on the product that you’re using. Pet-friendly ant killers can destroy the entire colony if you’re using a bait-style product that the ants will take back to the nest.
You’ll find some baits and traps that contain borax. It works in a similar way to conventional baits with harsh chemicals. The worker ants take the bait back to the colony, share it with other worker ants, and then share it with the queen. Eventually, the entire colony collapses after the queen dies.
Why Choose Natural Insecticides?
It’s true that natural insecticides can take longer to work, and they may require diligent re-application to eradicate your ant problem. But there are many benefits to choosing natural products.
Harsh pesticides have been blamed for destroying bee populations. They work well, but they also kill beneficial insects in the process. Without bees and other pollinators, we won’t have any crops left.
Natural insecticides won’t harm the environment, and you don’t have to worry about keeping the kids and pets out of the yard.
If you have pets in your home and an ant problem, you may be leary of using harsh pesticides to fix the problem. It can be a challenge to get rid of ants in the house, but these products can help – without hurting the environment or your pets. Using products that are dog safe and cat safe means that your animals can enjoy living in their homes even while treating your ant problem.