What Do Professionals Use to Kill Ants

What Products Professionals Use to Exterminate Ants?

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

Ever wondered what the pros use to wipe out ants? Well, exterminators get rid of ants with chemical solutions like boric acid, fipronil, and hydramethylnon. They also use mechanical ant baits, sprays, and dusts like Diatomaceous Earth.

But there's a lot more to it. With our years of experience and research, we've got the inside scoop on the tools and techniques used by the experts.

By the end of this article, you'll not only know what the pros use, but also why they use it. So, brace yourself for an enlightening journey into the world of ant control. Let's get started, shall we?

Common Used Products for Professional Ant Extermination

image of an exterminator with chemical products

Chemical Treatments Used by Exterminators

Professionals often resort to chemical solutions to tackle ant, including:

Boric Acid

Boric Acid is a popular choice among exterminators. It's a slow-acting poison that eradicates ants by interfering with their digestive system. Boric acid, introduced via bait stations, invites worker ants who carry this toxin back to their colony, inadvertently infecting the entire unit.


Also used extensively, Hydramethylnon serves as one of the most effective ant baits. Worker ants, lured by this toxicant, transfer it to their colony, resulting in mass extermination. It is popular due to its capability to eliminate ants at their source: the queen and the nest.


Fipronil is commonly used in gel baits and sprays. This powerful pesticide disrupts the central nervous system of ants, causing death. It’s advantageous for targeting ant colonies hiding in hard-to-reach areas.

Piperonyl Butoxide

Lastly, Piperonyl Butoxide is often paired with other insecticides to enhance their effectiveness. It neutralizes certain enzymes in ants, rendering them more susceptible to accompanying toxins.

Mechanical and Physical Solutions

Apart from chemicals, ant control experts also employ mechanical and physical means to eliminate ant infestations, such as:

Baits and Bait Stations

Baits and bait stations act as irresistible traps for ants. These devices, laden with food and strong pesticides, attract worker ants who unknowingly transport the lethal substances back to their nests.

Sprays and Aerosols

Sprays and aerosols are quite effective for immediate relief from ants. These deliver fast-acting insecticides directly on ants and their trails, providing quick eradication.

Dusts Like Diatomaceous Earth

Lastly, dusts such as Diatomaceous Earth naturally kill ants by causing them to dehydrate. This safe and non-toxic substance can be applied around potential entry points to deter ants.

Innovative and Advanced Techniques

The pest control industry continually innovates to introduce new and improved extermination strategies:

Thermal Remediation

Thermal remediation, a cutting-edge technique, involves heating up parts of the infested home to a temperature fatal for ants. This strat is particularly effective against carpenter ants which often nest within wooden structures.

Electromagnetic and Ultrasonic Devices

Electromagnetic and ultrasonic devices are revolutionary tools in ant control services. These devices emit sounds or vibes, repelling ants without the use of harsh chemicals. They offer a great solution for houses with children, pets or individuals sensitive to traditional pesticides.

Ant Extermination: DIY Methods vs. Pest Control

When to Use DIY Practices

Amidst options abundant for ant extermination, DIY merits consideration in certain circumstances.

Mild Infestations

Minor ant invasions, defined primarily by small, isolated colonies, benefit from DIY. Leverage household products like vinegar, mixed with water in a spray bottle, to address the problem. Spraying this solution directly at ants disrupts the scent trail they follow, disrupting communication and navigation. Similarly, bait stations filled with sugar or other foods ants find appealing can be strategically plotted. The bait contains a slow-acting insecticide that worker ants carry back to the colony, contaminating the entire nest.This is a practical method for flying ants pest control, which often become a nuisance during the warmer months.

Preventative Measures

DIY also takes centre stage for preventative measures aimed at averting ant infestation. Examine houses for potential entry points like gaps, cracks, and crevices in walls and seal them promptly. Regular cleaning, especially in food processing areas like the kitchen, keeps ants away. A tidy environment reduces food sources and water that attract these pests.

When to Use Professional Ant Extermination

There are circumstances when ant control services become the need of the hour.

Customized Solutions Based on Ant Species and Infestation Level

Understanding ant species is critical in extermination processes because different species respond differently to treatments. Carpenter ants, for instance, infamous for their wood-boring capabilities, could cause significant structural damage if not addressed promptly. Pest controllers identify the ant species causing infestation and devise treatment plans accordingly.

Access to Stronger Chemicals

At times, DIY might fail to completely eradicate ant colonies. This failure is especially pertinent with larger ant problems or if the queen ant remains unscathed. Experts have access to more potent and restricted insecticides unable to be purchased by the general consumer.

Long-term Prevention Strategies

Ant exterminators offer long-term prevention strategies, saving houses from future ant invasions. These strategies include a regular monitoring schedule to identify and treat possible ant colonies and insect repellents safe for both pets and children yet effective in keeping ants away, especially in common infested areas like the kitchen and the lawn. These strategies go a long way in maintaining homes ant-free.

Safety and Environmental Considerations

In deploying techniques to eradicate ants, a holistic regard for safety and environmental balance remains paramount. In this vein, a practitioner's nth-degree cognizance of the chemical involved stands as exigent for preserving the surrounding ecosystem while achieving targeted extermination.

Safe Use of Chemicals

When applying chemicals like boric acid, hydramethylnon, fipronil, or piperonyl butoxide to treat ants, safety can't be overstressed. These substances, potent as they are at eliminating ants and disrupting colonies, may be toxic if misused, necessitating great care in handling and application.

Following EPA Guidelines

Our attention hones in on guidelines posited by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA rules help ensure that chemicals wield their power on the intended insect species and do not pose detrimental spillovers on other organisms. Utilizing proper protective gear, observing the appropriate amount for use according to the target species, and avoiding environmental release during application are among EPA's key stipulations.

As pest experts, adherence to EPA standards is not optional, but a defining part of our practice. These guidelines safeguard both the environment and the inhabitants of treated spaces, allowing us to efficiently neutralize ants while minimizing the risk of collateral damage.

Importance of Professional Handling and Application

The application of insecticides is as sophisticated as their composition. This, couples with their potential risks, underscores the need for expert involvement. Pest control experts possess depth in understanding active chemical substances, guiding their judgment in the safe application, eliminating the potential for painful ant bites or nest disturbances.

Our proficiency extends to identifying the correct insecticide type, be it baits, sprays, or dusts, for each infestation case. Foraging ants may lead us to concealed nests, enabling targeted extermination that ensure the entire ant colony, including the queen, is addressed. This of course depends on the species since carpenter ants' dietary preference leans towards protein, not sugar, altering bait composition considerably.

Equipped with the right amount of insecticides and application techniques, we not only incapacitate the infestation but also ensure the least amount of damage to the immediate environment, offering pest-free premises without upending the natural biological balance.


Given our conversation on what exterminators use to kill ants, it's clear that tackling an ant infestation offers multiple avenues, each with its perks and drawbacks. We've discussed various techniques, an array of insecticides such as Diatomaceous earth, methods of implementation, and the essential underlying knowledge about ant species. But, while identifying the type of ant and using the appropriate treatment can put a damper on the problem, prevention remains the best means of control.

Whether it's through home remedies or extermination services, remember the first step is always to protect your house from attracting ants in the first place. Seal up cracks, clean food sources, avoid excess moisture, and most importantly, don't hesitate to act swiftly at the first sign of an infestation. That way, you'll ensure a combat-ready space, ready to stave off unwanted insects at the earliest.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the main chemical treatments exterminators use to kill ants?

Experts primarily use boric acid, hydramethylnon, fipronil, and piperonyl butoxide. Each of these chemicals targets ants in different ways, either by poisoning them or disrupting their nervous systems.

How does boric acid work in ant extermination?

Boric acid acts as a slow-acting poison that interferes with the ants' digestive systems. Worker ants carry it back to their colony, inadvertently infecting and eradicating the entire colony.

What makes hydramethylnon an effective ant bait?

Hydramethylnon is effective because it lures worker ants who then carry the toxicant back to their colony. This leads to mass extermination by targeting the queen and the nest.