While ants won’t spread disease-causing bacteria like other household pests (such as mice and roaches), it’s the rare homeowner who wants them around. After all, nothing ruins breakfast more quickly than finding ants in your sugar bowl or cereal box. But if you have pets, such as a dog, you can’t exactly spread ant killer around your house liberally, as it can poison your pet. The best dog safe ant killers eliminate your pest problem without harming your pet.
What’s the Risk to Dogs?
According to Cesar Milan, insecticides are among the top 10 household items that could hurt your pup. Ant baits, though plastic packages that contain an attractant inside them, are occasionally eaten by pets.
The baits often contain peanut butter, which dogs love, as well as a small amount of poison. The good news is that the poison in most ant baits usually isn’t enough to hurt or kill your dog.
But swallowing the plastic case the bait is in can cause some trouble. The bait casing could get stuck in your dog’s digestive system or could cause some discomfort as it moves through his body before he passes it.
Although your dog will probably be fine if he or she eats ant poison, it’s a good idea to call your vet if it happens. Another option is to reduce the chance of your dog eating a poison in the first place by switching to a dog safe ant killer.
What to Look for in a Dog Safe Ant Killer
When choosing a dog safe ant killer, you want to choose a product that won’t attract your dog. Additionally, you want to choose a product that won’t harm your dog if he or she does eat it. Some ant killers contain ingredients that do damage to tiny ants and their delicate systems but won’t harm bigger animals, like dogs.
One common ingredient in pet-safe ant killers is diatomaceous earth. Sometimes described as the bug killer you can eat (yum), diatomaceous earth contains the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are small aquatic organisms. The main ingredient in those fossils is silica.
Although it does kill ants and other insects, the FDA considers diatomaceous earth to be “generally recognized as safe.” When looking for diatomaceous earth, choose a product labeled as “food-grade,” which means it’s gone through a purification process.
When scattered about, diatomaceous earth can kill ants and other insects by sucking the fat and oils away from their exoskeletons, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. Ants don’t need to eat the ingredient for it to do its damage.
Diatomaceous earth has several other uses as well, ranging from deodorizing clothing and carpets to cleaning up spills.
Ingredients That Aren’t Safe for Dogs
There’s some confusion over the presence of borax, or boric acid, in some ant killers. People commonly assume that borax is a safe ingredient since it does have a low toxicity, at least for people.
It’s a different story for dogs. According to the ASPCA, borax can lead to irritation and stomach upset in dogs if consumer. If your pet eats a lot of it, there’s the risk of kidney injury. For the sake of your pet, it’s best to just say no to ant killers that contain borax.
An Ounce of Prevention
Often, preventing ants is better than killing them, especially if you have a pet at home. Ants typically come into your home because they are hungry and you have food. According to the Humane Society, if ants come to your house in search of food but don’t find any, they won’t return.
To keep ants away, make sure you store all your food, plus your dog’s food, in airtight, ant-proof containers. Wipe up your counters and tabletops after each meal and wash the dishes. Don’t leave dirty plates and dishes in the sink overnight. Sweep and vacuum the floors to remove any food bits.
It’s also a good idea to use soap and water when cleaning surfaces. The soap will rinse away the chemical trails ants leave, according to Angie’s List. It is also potent enough to kill any ants it comes into contact with.
If you’ve done what you can to keep ants away, but they keep coming back, the next step is to break out the dog safe ant killers.
Reviews of the Best Dog Safe Ant Killers
Harris Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade
Harris Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade slices up the exoskeletons of ants, which ultimately kills them. The product is safe enough for humans to eat and won’t harm your pets. It also includes an air pump duster, which is supposed to make application easier.
To use the product, you sprinkle some of it in areas where you’ve seen the ants. If the ants crawl on it, the edges of the diatomaceous earth cut them up.
Along with killing ants, the diatomaceous earth will cause harm to any insect that has an exoskeleton. People have reported that it’s an efficient killer of everything from fleas to scorpions.
- People and pet safe ant killer
- All natural ingredients
- Manufacturer donates 10 percent of profits to a local humane society
- Included duster can be difficult to use
- You can’t get the product wet when using it as an ant killer or else it will clump up and won’t be as effective
EcoSMART 33103 Organic Ant and Roach Killer
EcoSMART 33103 Organic Ant and Roach Killer contains all-natural, plant-based ingredients. Sold in a 14-ounce aerosol can, it claims to kill ants, cockroaches, silverfish, and a range of other crawling bugs on contact. The active ingredients in EcoSMART are peppermint oil and rosemary oil, two herbal oils that are known to be strong enough to cause serious harm to bugs.
- Safe for use inside the home
- You can also use it outdoors
- 100 percent organic formula
- Safe for children and pets and won’t contaminate groundwater or harm birds or fish
- Has a strong odor that some might find off-putting
- You have to spray it on the bugs for it to work
If you’re looking for the best dog safe ant killer, diatomaceous earth the way to go. Although there are plenty of options out there, Harris Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade is the most well-rounded option. You can use it as an ant killer, to kill fleas on your dog and you can use it to deodorize your shoes or carpets.