The Complete Guide to Pet Safe Ant Control

by | Jun 22, 2022 | Ant Control, Pest

If you’re like me, you go to ridiculous lengths to keep your beloved pet safe and happy. Many pet owners tolerate ants year after year because of unanswered questions about pet safe ant control. This complete pet safe ant exterminator’s guide will answer all those questions to keep your pet safe and your home ant-free.

Pet Safe Ant Removal

Pet safe ant removal begins with understanding ants and how they work:

  • Ants live in large colonies.
  • Colonies can range in size from hundreds to 50,000+.
  • So, repelling individual ants without a plan for removing the whole colony can be counterproductive, and result in more chemical exposure over time.

To get rid of ants without spraying a drop, you’ll need to use a bait product. And you need those ants you’re seeing to take ant bait back to the colony.

Check out our step-by-step directions for the best treatment for ants.

Learn Safe Ant Control.   

The Best Pet Safe Indoor Ant Killer 

Here’s why the best indoor ant killer thats also pet safe is always liquid or gel bait:

  • Ants on your countertops drink and take bait back to their colony.
  • They “baby-bird” the bait back and forth with ant larvae, which eliminates the colony.

Why Are Baits Safer Than Sprays?

Baits are safe because they’re such a small amount of low concentration solution,

AND they must be placed in secured stations or deep in crevices & wall voids, so your pets, kids, or pollinators should never be exposed at all.

Since there is no skin, oral, or inhalation exposure with baits — unlike spray residues — the hazard is low. Even if your dog ate Terro, they’d have to consume a lot to get sick.

All-natural sprays will only disrupt the ants temporarily, and are potentially hazardous to fish & birds. All-natural ant repellent sprays require repeated use, rarely provide lasting results, which results in more chemical use –and exposure– over time.

Is Advion Ant Gel Pet Safe?

Bait products like Advion Ant Gel & Terro Liquid Ant Bait are safe for pets when applied according to the label’s instructions.

Advion ant gel comes in a syringe applicator instead of a pre-made bait station like Terro Liquid Ant Bait trays. So if you’re using Advion for ants, read the label carefully to avoid exposing your pet. Apply between 0.1-1 gram per placement (about the size of a BB), deep into cracks, crevices or wall voids where your pets cannot reach it.

Beware, if Advion ant gel is overapplied, in a place where pets can eat it, it could be harmful.

Use extreme caution if you have pet geckos, as some species of geckos are attracted to Advion ant gel.

Pet Safe Way to Get Rid of Ants in Yard

If you’re looking for a pet safe way to get rid of ants in the yard, first determine if they are pest ants or not.

Odorous house ants, aka sugar ants infest houses and have a formadelhyde or “rotten coconut” odor when crushed.

Carpenter ants are usually shiny, all-black and are about the size of a grain of rice or larger.

Pavement ants do not smell, and they only occasionally invade homes, rarely infest them. They form distinctive “ant hills” in the cracks in your pavement.

•  If they are odorous house ants or carpenter ants, and they’re in close proximity to your home, use a liquid or granular borate based bait. Apply the bait to the areas you’re seeing ants, when they are most active. Borate baits are made from naturally derived chemicals and generally considered pet safe.

• If they are pavement ants, use an all-natural ant spray or strong peppermint tea to repel them from the areas of your yard you don’t want them to be in. Use a bait inside if they do invade your home.

Note: Pavement ants are a beneficial insect species. Pavement ants eat pests like slug eggs & fly larvae, and feed birds like Northern Flickers.

Pet Safe Ant Treatment

For the most part, baiting the interior will help you get rid of sugar ants without spraying chemicals.

Remember, most spray products are repellents, and aren’t great for controlling ants long-term. They will only work temporarily unless you get rid of the ant colony. 

white shield icon with check mark next to house icon

Pet Safe Ant Prevention


  • For pet safe ant prevention, keep all trees, shrubs and grass at least 1′ away from the sides of your home.
  • Clear mulch & debris away from siding. Keep good air flow.
  • Inspect your home’s foundation for ant trails regularly. Place a granular or liquid bait (according to the label’s instructions) if you notice ant trails going into your house.
  • If you have trees or shrubs that touch the side of the home, inspect those plants for ant trails. Ants love to climb up trees and bushes, and then make nests up high in your walls, ceiling or sky lights.

Best Ant Killer Around Pets

The best ant killer around pets is one they won’t eat or be exposed to.

Borate baits, like Terro are lowest toxicity and should be used first. Care should be taken to ensure pets aren’t able to eat the bait.

Ant killer sprays, like Raid or Ortho are generally safe for pets if they are allowed to dry before pets contact the treated areas. Deter them from licking treated areas. And beware. Unless it is a professional non-repellent product, it almost certainly won’t get you long-lasting results. So avoid repellent sprays to prevent chronic pesticide exposure to pets.

Essential oils for ants are usually safe for dogs when allowed to dry. But essential oils are bad at controlling ant colonies because they’re strong repellents. Essential oil vapors may be harmful to fish or birds, or irritating to cats, dogs and other pets who have a more acute sense of smell than others.

Professional grade baits like Advion ant gel should be applied by a licensed pest control service to ensure the bait is not over-applied in a way that will allow exposure to pets.

Click to Get Rid of Ants.   

Is Borax Pet Safe?

Depends. Ant killers containing borax are pet safe when applied as directed. Borax is low toxicity to humans and pets. Especially in the tiny amounts used for ant control. However if smaller pets are somehow allowed to ingest a large quantity of borax, it could make them sick.

Generally pets do not take interest in eating ant baits. But for the best pet safe ant control, always apply ant traps behind furniture, on countertops, or in closed closets to prevent pets from accessing them.

What Happens if My Dog Eats Terro Ant Killer?

If your dog eats a bunch of Terro ant killer, and you start to notice vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive drool or any other concerning symptoms, consult your vet immediately. You can also contact National Pesticide Information Center.

They’ll probably be fine.

Although a potentially lethal dose of borax is just five grams per kilogram– that’s just about three-quarters of an ounce of pure borax for a ten pound pet. But since one .36oz Terro ant trap only contains about a half-gram of borax, and is mostly diluted sugar, the hazard is very low.

A ten pound chihuahua would have to somehow eat about 40 Terro ant traps to reach a lethal dose. 

Sharp shards of hard plastic are probably the greatest health hazard at that point. 

Luckily, pets do not usually go around chewing up ant traps, but always keep ant baits out of reach of pets and children just to be sure. 

Learn: How to Keep Ants Out of the House

Ant Extermination Safe for Pets

The main takeaways: 

  • For the best ant extermination that’s safe for pets, think twice about using repellent sprays, all-natural or not.
  • To get rid of ants by eliminating the colony, choose a liquid or gel bait, and place baits out of reach of pets & kids.
  • To read more insider advice on getting rid of ants without spraying, click here.

If you live in Portland Oregon and are looking for affordable, expert pet safe ant extermination, please get in touch with Pest & Pollinator today.

Wondering what sets us apart? Learn more about Pest & Pollinator here.

Pest and Pollinator contact information phone 9712568440 email