What Happens if My Dog Eats an Ant Trap?

Most dog owners have a dog that will happily eat anything and everything they can get their mouth on.  Whether it’s shoelaces, mail, or your kid’s favorite stuffed animal, some dogs are just insatiable. While most things aren’t harmful, what happens when your dog chooses to eat something that could be toxic?

If it’s springtime and your home has a history of pesky ant invasions, it’s probably a good time to reevaluate whether your ant traps are going to become a consumable by your dog.

Before you put ant traps out, let’s break down the dangers of the most commonly used ant traps/bait used in homes. If you find your dog has eaten or chewed an ant trap and is showing symptoms of poisoning it’s recommended to call and visit your local veterinarian or local animal hospital immediately. Be sure to bring the ingredient list of the ant trap with you, so your veterinarian can properly address the issue.

If you are looking for dog safe solution to ant control, visit our Pet Safe Ant Traps page to see our recommendations.

Terro Ant Bait

Terro brand is one of the more popular ant baits on the market, and it comes in a variety of liquid and granular forms.

Active ingredient(s):  Sodium borate (Borax)

Is borax found in other household items?

Borax is a common ingredient found in numerous commonly used household products like hand soaps, laundry detergent, and cleaning products.

Are Borax based ant traps toxic to dogs?

Borax, when ingested in small amounts, isn’t toxic, but large amounts can lead to kidney damage or even failure.  However, even small amounts can lead to drooling, excessive thirst, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Depending on the form of Borax (liquid vs granules), it can also cause coughing and shortness of breath.

What should I do if my dog ate Terro ant bait?

Because Borax is naturally caustic and dehydrating, it isn’t recommended to induce vomiting at home with hydrogen peroxide.  Mixing the two chemicals can lead to more severe symptoms. If your pet has ingested any Terro products, it’s recommended to immediately call your family veterinarian, local veterinary emergency room, or the Pet Poison Helpline.

Raid Ant Bait

Another commonly used ant bait product, Raid can be found in almost any store.  The small bait traps consist of granules designed to be carried back to the ant colony.

Active ingredient(s):  Abamectin

Other ingredients:  Peanut butter, vegetable oil, microcrystalline wax, powdered sugar

Is abamectin found in other household products?

Abamectin is a pesticide, so unless there are other pest control items in your house, it’s unlikely you will find this in anything else in your home.

Are abamectin based ant traps toxic to dogs?

Severe toxicity with these products is unlikely as it’s a formulated product, but the real danger comes from dogs being attracted to the taste of the product due to the peanut butter and powdered sugar additives.  When something tastes good, your dog is more likely to search out all of the bait packages or the box itself.

If large amounts of the Raid ant baits are consumed, the risk of toxicity increases.  Signs of abamectin toxicity include pupil dilation, vomiting, seizures, and muscle tremors.

What happens if my dog ate Raid ant baits?

As soon as you’ve discovered your dog has eaten the bait traps, call your family veterinarian, emergency veterinary hospital, or Pet Poison Helpline.  They will be able to direct you, based on how many of the bait traps your dog has eaten, whether there is concern of toxicity.

Should I avoid this product in my house if I have a dog?

Based on the food additives, it’s not recommended to use Raid Ant Bait in your household with pets present.

Hot Shot Ant Bait

Hot Shot ant bait stations boast a guarantee of 6-months worth of protection in your home.  The bait stations are filled with granules that are transported back to the ant colony.

Active ingredient(s):  Indoxacarb

Is indoxacarb found in any other household products?

Indoxacarb can be found in some topical flea and tick medications for dogs, such as Activyl.

Are indoxacarb ant traps toxic to dogs?

Ingested in very large quantities, indoxacarb, an anti-parasitic medication, can be toxic, leading to neurological effects.  Ant bait traps have very small amounts of indoxacarb, so unless your dog has eaten multiple traps, the risk of actual toxicity is very low.

What should I do if my dog has eaten Hot Shot ant bait?

Since the likelihood of toxicity is low in small amounts, it’s important to know exactly how much your pet ate.  If you’re unsure, then it will be wise to seek medical attention via your veterinarian. A bigger risk is the chance of your dog developing a foreign body obstruction from the plastic traps themselves.

Amdro Ant Bait

Amdro brand ant bait come in two different types:  ant bait stations and granules. The ant bait stations are made for indoor use while the granules are made for outdoor household protection.

Active ingredient(s):  Hydramethylnon

Is hydramethylnon found in any other household products?

As a pesticide, you’re likely to only find this in pest-control products.

Are hydramethylnon based ant traps toxic to dogs?

Hydramethylnon appears to be quite safe in mammals, including dogs.  It takes a large amount to become toxic to dogs. The most common signs of ingestion are gagging or vomiting.

What should I do if my dog has eaten Amdro ant bait?

Inducing vomiting is only necessary if your dog eats more than 1 ounce/kilogram of bait.  For example, a small 20 pound dog would have to eat 20 trays of Amdro bait to necessitate induction of vomiting.

Spectracide Ant Bait

Spectracide ant bait granules come in a shaker bag for ant control over large areas.  One bag is capable of treating over 1500 square feet.

Active ingredient(s):  Lambda-cyhalothrin

Is lambda-cyhalothrin found in any other household products?

This chemical is only found in insecticidal products, especially for gardens/lawns.

Are lambda-cyhalothrin based ant traps toxic to dogs?

Lambda-cyhalothrin is toxic when ingested and can be very irritating when it makes contact with skin.  Toxicity is dose dependent, but even low doses of ingestion can harm your dog.

What should I do if my dogs has eaten Spectracide ant bait?

If your dog has ingested Spectracide products, it’s highly recommend you seek care with your family veterinarian or emergency veterinary hospital to induce vomiting and proceed with any necessary treatment or hospitalization.

If you find your dog is showing symptoms of toxicity, it’s recommended to call or visit your veterinarian immediately. If you have persistent ant problems and need a dog friendly solution, we have reviewed the best Dog Friendly Ant Traps on the market.

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