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The Best Ant Bait Gels

There is hardly any place you won’t find ants, as long as there are food crumbs lying around. Ants are the ultimate scavengers and if you combine that with their hardworking nature, they are relentless. We all want to get rid of these disrespectful, in your face, and often destructive tenants. That is why we came up with this buying guide and review to provide you with the information you need to make the best choice that will offer a desirable solution to your needs.

There is hardly any place you won’t find ants, as long as there are food crumbs lying around. Ants are the ultimate scavengers and if you combine that with their hardworking nature, they are relentless. We all want to get rid of these disrespectful, in your face, and often destructive tenants. That is why we came up with this buying guide and review to provide you with the information you need to make the best choice that will offer a desirable solution to your needs.


Syngenta Optigard Gel

Just apply this highly attractive bait gel and get rid of pesky ants indoors and outdoors fast and easy.


Advion Ant Gel

Kill ants and their colonies quickly and efficiently. Easy to use and fast-acting.


Terro Liquid Ant Killer II

This small sized bottle can get rid of your ant problem in a few days! Fighting with ants can’t be easier.


Syngenta Optigard Gel


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • The active ingredient in this product might be moderately harmful to animals if ingested

Syngenta Optigard Gel Review

Syngenta is a global leader when it comes to providing agricultural solutions. It develops innovative ways of controlling plant-eating insects. This helps to boost agricultural output to sustain the depleting food production on a global scale.

The Advion ant gel and the rest of its line of residential pest control solutions are popularly known for their effectiveness in doing what they promise. It only makes sense that similar products by the same manufacturer will also be as good.

This is why we are confident enough about the Optigard Ant Bait Gel to include it on our list. This ant bait gel uses a patented active ingredient called thiamethoxam which is toxic to insects when they ingest or comes into direct contact with it.

It is packaged in tubes and delivered with an accompanying syringe that has a plunger. This is used to squeeze a blob of the gel in strategic positions. It is better to know the ants’ route so you can place at the best points.

This ant gel is transparent and remains so and it attracts ants in numbers in a matter of minutes. The idea is to have the ants feed on it and take some back to their colony where they feed the queen and younger ones with it as well. Due to the toxic effect, the active ingredient has on insects, in this case, ants; it kills the entire colony once and for all.

Depending on how large the colony is or how many different colonies invade your home, they all should be gone in days or a few weeks. This is a really potent way of curbing ant infestation as it wipes them out from the source once and for all. You will agree this is one of the best ways to get rid of ants.

The Optigard gel can be used both indoors and out. It can be applied in crevices and cracks as ants prefer those as discrete routes to and from their colonies. It will not cause stains on your furniture nor any surfaces and does not have a repulsive odor. This is not one of those that will have you leave home when applied.

This product is effective against a wide range of insects but has a focus on carpenter ants, Argentine ants, ghost ants, etc. Pharaoh, fire, and harvester ants are some of the ants it might not work for. This powerful gel is packed in 4 tubes of 30 grams each with one plunger included. Depending on how much treatment you need, it is also available in a pack of 2 and a single pack.


  • Manufacturer: Syngenta
  • Active ingredients: Thiamethoxam, .010%
  • Target insects: Argentine ants, ghost ants, and carpenter ants
  • Where can be used: Both indoors and outdoors
  • Kid-safe: No
  • Pet safe: No
  • Odor/scent: Yes, but faint
  • Net volume: 30 grams x 4
  • Other features: Comes with a Syringe


Syngenta Advion Ant Gel


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • If the content congeals, it might become less effective, so you want to keep the lid closed tight

Syngenta Advion Ant Gel Review

Syngenta is known globally for its prowess at developing highly effective pesticides and insecticides. It has been in operation for many years and has only been growing stronger and more relevant. With continuous research, it regularly comes up with improved ways of making its products provide even better solutions.

This is why its commercial and residential insect treatments are some of the most sought-after variants. Its potent formulation and easy to use applications are some of the characteristics that make Syngenta products stand out amidst competition.

The Advion ant gel we are featuring is a great example of that prowess Syngenta is known for. This ant bait gel contains Indoxacarb as its active ingredient. This is a broad-spectrum compound which is why it is effective for many species of ants, including those evasive sweet feeders. The Indoxacarb in this product is the only member in its chemistry class. So, you won’t find an insecticide that works exactly like this.

Its content is a consistent transparent gel which is highly attractive to insects. So, only a few minutes after application, you would see insects lining up to get a piece of the meal. What makes this brand so effective compared to other types of insecticides is that this one is odorless and attractive. If it were to repel ants and kill them off, you would only kill the ones you see. Others would still keep multiplying and find other routes into your home.

This ant gel can be used anywhere, from homes to offices, schools to motels, restaurants to supermarkets; just about anywhere you need to get rid of ants. It is an odorless transparent gel, so all you need do is apply it and let it handle the rest. No need to clean it up as the ants will eat it all up over time. It also won’t leave stain marks, so you’re good on that front too.

If you have been looking for a thorough treatment for ants infesting your home like they pay part of the mortgage, this is what you need. It won’t just kill the ones that eat the bait, they will take it back to the colony and feed the rest of it. This is where the magic is, it will wipe them all out from the source.


  • Manufacturer: Syngenta
  • Active ingredients: Indoxacarb
  • Target insects: Most species of ant pests
  • Where can be used: Both indoors and outdoors
  • Kid-safe: No
  • Pet safe: No
  • Odor/scent: No
  • Net volume: 30 grams x 4
  • Other features: Broad-spectrum active ingredient


Terro Liquid Ant Killer II (2 pack)


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • It is not safe for pets, so be careful with placements

Terro Liquid Ant Killer II (2 pack) Review

Terro was first introduced in 1915 and since then users have been ecstatic about its effectiveness. Over a hundred years later, Terro is still one of the leading brands of ant killers. There is no doubt that Terro is a brand worth patronizing as it has proven consistently over the years that its products, like this Terro Liquid Ant Killer, will only get better.

The Terro Liquid Ant Killer is good proof as it is celebrated among users as one of the best indoor ant killers. Its main ingredient is Borax which is popularly known for its ability to deter and kill most household insects. This ant bait gel has been formulated to take effect a bit later so that ants can carry the bait to their queen waiting to be fed in the nest. This way, the poison is transmitted across the colony which will eventually kill them all.

It’s easy to use as it is packaged in a 29-milliliter tube. All you have to do is to squeeze a generous amount around their trail and in minutes you will see ants swarm it; feeding away. Then you can smile and say your goodbyes as they will not come back. It takes about 24 to 48 hours to notice the disappearance of those pesky ants. Some two days later, you can apply another dose in case some of the larvae in the nest made it out alive. They surely will be coming to your house. When they do, they will eat up the second dose and that will wipe them out for sure.

That is how effective this ant nest killer is. It will kill almost any types of household ant. There have even been reports from users that claim that it kills other insects that come in contact with it too. You will agree that is some value for money.

This product has a long shelf life. It does not even have an expiry date. Whenever you notice ants resurfacing, even after a year, you can just pick it up where you left it and reuse. It will still perform like you just bought it. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s storage instructions. As long as this gel is in the liquid form, it will kill the ants.

For the sake of convenience and need, this ant gel is available in a single unit and packs of 2, 3, and 4. Depending on how much ants you need to eradicate, the quantity you will require will vary.


  • Manufacturer: Terro
  • Active ingredients: Borax
  • Target insects: Common household ants
  • Where can be used: Both indoors and outdoors
  • Kid-safe: No
  • Pet safe: No
  • Net volume: 29 ml x 2
  • Other features: Long shelf life

Other products to consider


Maxforce Quantum Ant Bait


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • It is quite poisonous to animals, so be sure to put it out of reach of your pets

Maxforce Quantum Ant Bait Review

Bayer is a leading star in the area of life sciences. It has been in existence for over a century and a half. A company with that type of longevity and is still a global leader is clear proof that it knows its onions. It has a long list of innovative products which includes the Maxforce ant control we are featuring.

The competence, trust, and quality the brand stands for are fully represented in this product. Several users have been singing the praises of the Maxforce ant bait. The active ingredient in this ant killer gel is Imidacloprid, which is a systemic chemical which acts as a neurotoxin for insects. This ingredient attacks the insect’s central nervous system which paralyzes them and eventually leads to their death.

Another awesome part of this ant gel is that it uses the Maxforce Domino Effect which does not affect the ants immediately. If you know about how ants operate, you will know that whatever food they get, they take it back to the nest to feed the queen and larvae. This is when the effect sets in. Every ant that comes in contact with the gel, in most cases, the entire colony, becomes paralyzed and eventually dies. When the queen dies, reproduction stops and the colony crumbles. This is the beauty of the Maxforce gel.

Once you apply the attractive bait gel, it can remain effective for up to three months. That way, surviving ants might come back and still take from the initial application. This saves you some gel and, consequently, some money. Who wouldn’t want to save money?

This gel is effective against many types of ants including pharaoh ants, Argentine ants, crazy ants, black ants, big-head ants, etc. The hydroscopic nature of this gel bait, which keeps it in liquid ant bait form so it remains effective, is what makes it so powerful. A single application will yield repeated results.

This product is presented in a 120-gram tube with 10 bait stations so you can place the bait gel in different strategic locations in your home. To achieve maximum effect, it is advised that you apply a generous amount as bait. That way the ants have enough to take back to the nest for the queen and the entire colony. This particular gel is not quick to lose moisture, so there is no fear of it congealing.


  • Manufacturer: Bayer
  • Active ingredients: Imidacloprid
  • Target insects: A wide variety of ant species
  • Where can be used: Both indoors and outdoors
  • Kid-safe: No
  • Pet safe: No
  • Odor/scent: No
  • Net volume: 120 grams
  • Other features: Comes with 10 bait stations


Raid Ant Gel


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • Could be dangerous to humans and pets

Raid Ant Gel Review

SC Johnson was established in 1886 and until this day is still a global leader in everyday household products. There is a great chance that you have used or are still using at least one of its numerous products in your home. If you have never tried any Raid product, you have probably used one of OFF, Pledge, Glade, etc. Those are from the same company albeit its different brands.

If you agree that those brands worked great, you will surely feel the same way about the Raid ant bait we want to tell you about. SC Johnson has a strong belief that the goodwill of its final consumers is what keeps it in business. This is why it is committed to surpassing customers’ expectations with all of its products.

It certainly achieved that with the Raid Ant Gel as several users have reported on how effective it is. Its active ingredient is Thiamethoxam which was obviously an intentional choice because of how effective it is at killing ants.

It is a broad-spectrum compound which will work great on any insect with high sensitivity to acetylcholine receptors. This is so because when an insect ingests it after feeding or comes in physical contact, or even ‘inhales’ it, it interferes with its nerve cells, essentially paralyzing it.

It is common knowledge that the survival of an insect depends on its ability to move, and in the case of paralysis, there is only one outcome, death. The awesomeness of this product does not end here, in fact, this is where it gets exciting. When ants flood this gel, they take part of it back to the colony to feed the queen and the larvae. When the whole colony feeds on this gel bait, as many of them that got a taste of this recipe will be gone for good.

Now that you know how it works, here is how you set those ants up. Apply drops of the gel in areas you know the ants will easily reach. You can apply in as many areas as you know they will make contact. The more you apply, the more they take back to the nest; the merrier. They won’t be as many the next time you see them, then you know it is killing them.

One application can last for a month, so you won’t need to keep reapplying as long as the gel is still there. It is essential to read the label before use and follow all precautions. It is better safe than sorry. When you’re done applying, be sure to close the cap tightly and store the tube upright to prevent it from drying out.

Do not place the bait in places you clean often so you don’t wash it off or dilute it, hence reducing its effects.


  • Manufacturer: RC Johnson
  • Active ingredients: Thiamethoxam
  • Target insects: Carpenter Ants, Ghost Ants, Argentine Ants, Odorous Ants, Crazy Ants
  • Where can be used: Indoors
  • Kid-safe: No
  • Pet safe: No
  • Odor/scent: No
  • Net volume: 30g
  • Other features: Precision placement tube


Bayer Maxforce Ant Insecticide


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • Even though it is targeted against insects, it might not be safe for pets

Bayer Maxforce Ant Insecticide Review

When it comes to ‘think tanks’ in the area of science, Bayer is a force to reckon with. It has a special focus on life sciences; that is the branch of science that directly involves everyday human life.

With the amount of experience it has, and how long it has repeatedly proven itself through its numerous products, you will agree with our position on this company.

Its Maxforce Carpenter Ant Bait Gel is a product that shows why Bayer has been in existence for so long and is still a global brand. This particular ant killer bait adopts the fairly new but effective active ingredient called Fipronil. This is a broad-spectrum chemical that is specifically effective against insects. This is because it blocks GABA receptors and glutamate-gated chloride channels which is found in insects.

It is so potent on insects because it hyper-excites their nerves and muscles which eventually causes their death. An insect becomes contaminated by it when it is ingested or comes in physical contact. Either will definitely happen as the gel is quite attractive to the insects. The contaminated insects will also infect the colony when they go back to the nest, consequently wiping them out.

This unique method of operation makes this product stand out from its peers. This is one of the best ant poisons you will find as it has been reported that Fipronil is effective against roaches and fleas too. It does not just work, it works fast and remains potent for long so one application will remain effective over time.

You can finally be rid of carpenter ants and those other pesky critters in your home. Be sure not to put the bait on pre-treated surfaces as this might dilute the bait and make them not eat it. Worse still repel them such that they won’t even make contact with it. Be sure not to use alongside any repellent as well.

It might require repeated usage to totally eliminate the ants. From the first application, you will notice a drastic reduction in their population within 24-48 hours. Just be sure to apply sufficient amounts to any areas you have seen them. This will ensure they take enough back to their nest to kill the queen and the rest.

With the Maxforce carpenter ant gel, you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on fumigation. You already are a professional exterminator yourself. Irrespective of what type of ant they are, if they have GABA receptors (which is common among ants) Maxforce will wipe them out.


  • Manufacturer: Bayer
  • Active ingredients: Fipronil
  • Target insects: Big-Headed ants, Carpenter ants, Ghost ants, Argentine ants, Odorous ants, Cornfield ants, Pharaoh ants, Thief ants.
  • Where can be used: Indoors and outdoors
  • Kid-safe: No
  • Pet safe: No
  • Net volume: 27g
  • Other features: Works against roaches too


Combat Max Ant Gel


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • It can be toxic to humans and pets if ingested. So, only apply in places where kids and pets won’t reach

Combat Max Ant Gel Review

Henkel Corporation is passionate about providing sustainable value and offering innovative solutions for our everyday needs. It has numerous brands under its name that are synonymous with quality and Combat, the brand that’s tasked with pest control is one of them. Just like many of its other brands, Combat is one you can rely on to deliver on its promises.

The Combat Max Ant Killing Gel is one of the best ways to get rid of ants in your house. This is so because the active ingredient, Fipronil, in this Combat ant killing gel is effective against many species of ant. Fipronil attacks ants’ central nervous system and eventually kills them.

This gel is formulated with food-based ingredients to naturally attract ants and it is so effective that you will see ants swarm it in a matter of minutes. The ants spot the juicy meal and alert others. They all join forces to eat and take more back to the nest to feed the larvae and the queen.

This is where the work starts as after a while when they are done ingesting it, the Fipronil kicks in by interfering with the ants’ GABA receptors and messes up their central nervous system. This happens to every ant in the colony, including the queen. Even if there are ants on diet at that time (just kidding), it will still work on them as they just need to come in contact with the gel for it to take effect.

This product is not considered one of the best indoor ant killers for nothing. It starts to take effect within hours and will wipe the entire colony out in just a few days. The syringe injector is easy to use and you just need to apply in areas you see the ants frequent, in cracks and crevices, and corners that are hard to reach.

Do not combine this product with other insecticides as this might reduce its efficacy. Previously treated surfaces might repel ants which will defeat the purpose. Surfaces, where food is prepared too, should be avoided so it does not contaminate your food and is accidentally ingested. Make sure to read the instruction booklet to avoid any accidents.

This gel can be used both indoors and outdoors. When used outdoors, apply it close to ant trails so they won’t miss it. You can place the bait on foil papers so the liquid does not get absorbed into the ground or wood.


  • Manufacturer: Henkel
  • Active ingredients: Fipronil
  • Target insects: Big-Headed ants, Carpenter ants, Ghost ants, Argentine ants, Odorous ants, Cornfield ants, Pharaoh ants, Thief ants, Pavement, and white-footed ants.
  • Where can be used: Indoors and outdoors
  • Kid-safe: No
  • Pet safe: No
  • Residue: No
  • Net volume: 27g
  • Other features: Precision placement syringe


InTice Gelanimo Ant Bait


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • Borax is poisonous to humans and pets when ingested

InTice Gelanimo Ant Bait Review

Rockwell Labs develops and markets products for professionals operating in the pest control industry. It is a highly sought-after company because its products are effective and reliable. The Intice Gelanimo bait gel is one of such products and it has been helping households wipe out infesting ants.

The Gelanimo ant bait uses the unique ‘rigid gel’ technology which has all the advantages of liquid ant bait and does not keep any of the disadvantages. This gelatin-like bait which is still high in moisture will keep its form even at temperatures of up to 130o.

It is packaged in a plastic syringe so it can be easily applied in areas where ants trail. Be sure to apply few drops in all locations you have noticed ants trail so they have enough to take back to base. A single drop can feed multiple ants without drowning them. Even though the bait is not totally liquid, it is still easy for the ants to cut through and feed. They will also take some back to the nest to feed the queen and others.

This is when Borax, the active ingredient in this ant killer bait, will take action and kill every insect that has ingested or come in contact with the bait. This is an effective formulation that will kill most of the ants in the colony within days.

The gelatin will remain in form and still potent for a long time so that surviving ants can come back for more. It will not turn sticky nor mess up where you have applied it. When the ants are done eating and are not coming back, the remaining gel is easy to clean up. Since it is water-based, you can just wipe it with a damp paper towel.

When used in commercial locations where consumables are prepared, it is important to restrict the application to cracks and crevices. This is to reduce the risk of exposing consumables to the bait gel. It is important to always read the label before use to avoid accidents and to use it properly to get maximum benefits.

In cases where you have a heavy infestation, you might need much more to get a desirable result. It happens the same way with outdoor infestations. You will need more quantity in combination with the Intice Border Patrol Station for colony-killing and long-lasting result.


  • Manufacturer: Rockwell Labs
  • Active ingredients: Borax
  • Target insects: Common household ants, except carpenter, harvester, and fire ants
  • Where can be used: Indoors and outdoors
  • Kid-safe: No
  • Pet safe: No
  • Odor/scent: No
  • Net volume: 5 x 35g
  • Other features: Rigid gel technology


Hot Shot Ultra Clear


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • It is not effective against some types of ants

Hot Shot Ultra Clear Review

Spectrum Brands is the umbrella brand for Hot Shot. If you have never used any Hot Shot products, you would have used products of some of the other brands under Spectrum Brands. Baldwin, Russell Hobbs, Black+ Decker are some of them. These are well-known brands that have repeatedly satisfied its customers. Spectrum Brand is a company that ensures that the reputation of one of its brands reflects on the rest. This is why several customers have come to rely on the performance of Hot Shot products.

The Hot Shot Roach & Ant Gel Bait is a highly effective pest control solution formulated for roaches and most types of ants. It uses Dinotefuran as its active ingredient which is so effective it is used for commercial and professional turf management. It works by disrupting insects’ nervous system which will eventually kill them.

This product is a clear gel which will attract insects and roaches to feed. It is moist and soft enough like ants like it, so they won’t have any problem falling for the bait. Just make sure you do not apply to pre-treated surfaces so the smell does not repel them and prevent them from eating.

Apply the bait gel in areas you have noticed insects trailing, which will usually be near dishwashers, refrigerators, under sinks, baseboards, shelves, etc. They will easily find it in these locations and get down to it. Be sure to apply generous amounts in long strips so as many as possible can feed at a time.

The active ingredient will give the ants and roaches enough time to take some back to their nests. That way, the insects can feed their queen and the rest of the colony, hence spreading the Dinotefuran. This will inhibit the normal function of their nervous system and kill them off. This method is quite effective at getting rid of ants from the source.

As for the roaches, they take some back to their nests too killing the rest that feeds or come in contact with the gel. This bait is said to even kill the eggs the roaches are carrying so there won’t be another generation trying to exert revenge.

It can also be used outdoors by applying to ant nests, near their entrance into the house. You can place the baits on foil paper so it will not be absorbed into the ground or bare wood. The aim is for an ant to notice it and it will call on the rest to come feed. In the process of answering the clarion call, the will help you wipe out their colony and you won’t be disturbed again.


  • Manufacturer: Spectrum Brands
  • Active ingredients: Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate
  • Target insects: Household ants and roaches
  • Where can be used: Indoors and outdoors
  • Kid-safe: No
  • Pet safe: No
  • Net volume: 70.8g
  • Other features: Kills both roaches and ants


Gourmet Ant Bait Gel


What we like :

What we don't like :

  • It is hazardous to humans and animals if ingested

Gourmet Ant Bait Gel Review

IPCP was founded by an entomologist with over 30 years of experience in pest management. This alone is enough to show that its products are created with intricate know-how. The many years of experience is an indication of thorough research and dedication. The Gourmet Ant Bait Gel is an effective way to control ant infestation in households, schools, hospitals, supermarkets, restaurants, etc.

This bait gel is packaged in a plastic syringe and can be applied in Ant Café baits or just placed in areas where ants have been seen. The gel is formulated to attract ants to feed on it. But it is important to keep away any food item that might attract ants too, so it will not compete with the gel. You should wash your hands before applying to eliminate any smell like garlic, tobacco, some cleaners, etc. that might repel the ants from the bait.

With all precautions are taken, the ants will continue to eat the gel until they perish. The gel is created with a unique honeydew formula that excites ants’ taste buds. This will surely make the ants eat it voraciously like no other bait. The active ingredient, Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate, is slow acting which gives the ants enough time to take some back to the nest. This will be used to feed the queen and others in the colony. By the time the product takes effect, the entire colony will be dead and ants won’t bother you anymore.

You might have to repeat usage until you don’t see ants around anymore (It is possible there is more than one colony visiting your home or the colony might be quite large). This ant killer bait is effective enough and will surely kill off all ants that come in contact with it. It is said that this product is also effective against German roaches. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. You won’t need to apply differently for the roaches as it will also eat from the same application. Same effect; same outcome. Extermination!

The manufacturer issues precautionary statements that this product is hazardous to humans and animals. Do not place baits where kids or pets can easily reach. Wash hands thoroughly after use and does not allow on the skin as it can be absorbed that way.


  • Manufacturer: Innovative Pest Control Products
  • Active ingredients: Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate
  • Target insects: Sweet and protein feeding ants
  • Where can be used: Indoors and outdoors
  • Kid-safe: No
  • Pet safe: No
  • Net volume: 44 ml
  • Other features: Kills both sweet and protein eating ants

About ant bait gels

Ant bait gels are insecticides that designed as attractants and meant to kill ants.  It might seem counter-intuitive to attract ants when in fact we are trying to get rid of them. This is why these bait gels are genius. When ants see food, they call on others, they feast and take some back to the nest to feed the queen and larvae. These bait gels are like food to ants, so they feed on the bait and take some back to the nest. This way, you won’t only get rid of the few workers that invade your home but the entire colony.

Types of ant bait gels

Ant bait gels are designed differently according to how brands deem fit. The common ones come in tubes that are applied with plastic syringes. Others come with baits where you can put the ant gel or in some cases, the gel is already in the bait.

These designs are often based on convenience.

The syringe types give you the freedom to apply anywhere you want and in as many places. Those with baits will require that you place the baits near ant trails so they can find them.

They could come as liquids or in gel form. What is important is that they attract ants. Ant baits come in granules too, which are more suited for outdoor applications. And there are the powdery types that can be applied in cracks and along trails too.

What are the active ingredients?

Most ant bait gels follow the same approach and work basically the same way. What often makes one different from the other is the active ingredient they use. Some of the popular ones used include Indoxacarb, Borax, Thiamethoxam, Fipronil, etc. They are all potent against ants and have delayed effect which allows them to make it back to the nest before killing them.

Some of these chemicals are broad-spectrum and will act against different types of ants; often by inhibiting the function of ants’ central nervous system which eventually kills them. Since most ants have a fairly similar neural design, these particular chemicals will work against them. Thiamethoxam, Fipronil, and Imidacloprid are some of those broad-spectrum active ingredients.

Whether an active ingredient is more broad-spectrum oriented or is designed to target a specific type of ant (for example, carpenter ants or the pesky red imported fire ants), they all work on the same principle. They are slow-acting insecticides that poison the worker ant that consumes the gel but start killing it slowly. This gives the insect time to get back to the colony where it can contaminate a lot more ants either with the food (gel) it’s brought or with its soon-to-be-dead husk.

Did you know?

Instead of killing a couple of ants, every drop of the gel has the potential of killing dozens or hundreds of ants, including newly hatched ants and potentially even the queen herself.

Still, what are some of the differences between the more popular active ingredients in ant bait gels other than how many ant species they are targeting?

  • Thiamethoxam – this is a synthetic and broad-spectrum neonicotinoids-class insecticide. This insecticide damages the nervous system of the insect and eventually paralyzes it.
  • Fipronil – this insecticide is one of the broadest insecticides there is as it affects almost all insects on the planet. It targets the GABA-gated chloride channels of insects’ nervous systems and paralyzes them after a period of time.
  • Imidacloprid – this exceptionally powerful neurotoxin is not only lethal for ants but is also known to be dangerous to birds, aquatic life, and plants. It has a broad range of applications but should be handled with care.
  • Borax – Borax, sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate is a mineral the insecticidal properties of which have to do with its dehydrating function. Essentially, when it gets on the insect’s external shell, the Borax slowly dehydrates it to death and prevents it from absorbing the moisture from the air.
  • Indoxacarb – this artificially developed oxadiazine pesticide blocks the nerve sodium channels of the insects’ nervous systems. Some insects such as the oriental tobacco budworm can grow resistant to it but most ant species can’t.

Advantages and disadvantages of ant bait gels

  • If you need a long-term to a permanent solution to ant infestation, ant bait gels are your best bet. They don’t just kill the roving ants, they kill the entire colony. If they are breeding larvae in their nests at that time, those would be gone too.
  • And baits are slow acting. This is because for it to be effective, the working ants need sufficient time depending on how far their nest is to get some back to the colony. After this is done, they would have been wiped out in 2 to 4 days. It is important to use generous amounts of gel so there would be enough for them to take back to feed the entire colony.
  • Some of these gels remain active for up to 3 months after application. That way, one application might be enough as the ants will keep coming back for more until they are all gone for good.
  • Most ant bait gels are odorless and transparent so they don’t create another problem while solving one. Chemicals are known to smell funny, but none of these ant baits will leave your home smelling like a chemistry lab.
  • Talking about chemicals, the active ingredients in these gels are toxic to humans and animals. So, it is ideal to read precautions before use. Apply in places kids and pets will not reach or get attracted to.
  • Ant bait gels are meant to attract ants, so if you have a problem seeing lots of ants at a time, you might have a problem with this process. But isn’t it better to endure the scene and not see them again after a few days?

What other, similar products can ant bait gels replace?

Ant bait gels are not the only ant baits you can use. For example, if you want to bait and combat ants outdoors, granular ant baits are a much better solution most of the time. Alternatively, ant bait dusts allow you to puff them inside walls and in other locations that a gel can’t realistically be applied to.

There are also non-bait solutions such as residual sprays and on-contact kill sprays. Residual sprays, in particular, work in a very similar way to ant baits – they too contaminate the ants with a slow-acting insecticide that is meant to wipe out the entire colony at once. The difference is that residual sprays are not baited and are instead meant to stick on ants that accidentally walk over them.

How to determine which ant bait gel is best for you

As we mentioned earlier, all the ant killer gels we’ve featured are some of the best brands available so anyone will surely serve its purpose. However, users’ circumstances differ which makes some more applicable than others.

In order to get the most suitable bait gel, you have to know which type of ants are invading your space. There are basically two types: the sugar ants and the protein ants.

  • The sugar ants are those that rush up when you leave sweet things like ice cream, candy, white sugar, etc. lying around. Good examples of this type are Pharaoh ants, Carpenter ants, Pavement ants, etc.
  • The protein types are the ones that like fatty foods and protein. If you have ever seen ants devouring a dead cockroach, there you have it. Those are protein ants. Fire ants are another great example.

Since you are not an entomologist, you might not be able to differentiate just by looking at them.

One way you can determine is by placing sugar and a fatty substance near their trail and see which they go for.

Now you can read the product label to see which types of ants a bait gel works on. Alternatively, you can decide based on the active ingredient and go for a gel that uses one of those broad-spectrum chemicals.

To summarize, here are the few main considerations you should keep in mind when purchasing an ant bait gel:

  • Should the bait in the gel be better suited for sugar ants or for protein ants? Again, you can test that for yourself before purchasing a particular gel by baiting the ants with regular, non-toxic food. Generally, it’s smart to use two or three different types of baits and bait gels just to make sure you’ve got your bases covered. If you can accurately determine what you’re dealing with, however, this can save you some money from unnecessary purchased bait gels.
  • Should the active ingredient in the gel be of a broad-spectrum or more targeted? If you are certain that you’re dealing with a specific type of ants such as carpenter ants or red imported fire ants, then choosing an insecticide that’s especially effective against them is a smart way to go about it. If you’re dealing with a couple of different ant types or if you just don’t know what you have up against you, a broad-spectrum insecticide might be a better bet.
  • Do you want to use the gel outdoors as well? Bait gels are generally designed for indoor use as they can easily be washed away by the rain or dried off by the sun. If you want to use ant baits outdoors then it is better not to use bait gels or to look for bait gels that would be suitable for the exact location you have in mind.
  • Do you mind if the bait gel smells? Most ant bait gels are odorless but there are some that have a distinctive smell, especially when applied in large enough quantities. This may not matter much if you’re going to use them in a garage or the attic but for the kitchen, it could be an annoyance.
  • How long will the bait gel last? This is important as it pertains to how often you’ll have to reapply it and how many bottles of it you’ll need to buy.
  • Is the gel bait safe for pets and kids? More often than not ant bait gels won’t be safe for your child or dog to accidentally consume. Still, some are more problematic than others so you might make your pick depending on that.
  • Branding matters. If you are at a loss as to what to purchase, following the brand of the products might point you in the right direction. Here are some of the brands we’d recommend: Combat, Advion, InTice, Terro, Optigard, Hot Shot, Raid, and Maxforce.

How to use ant bait gels

Whichever type of ant bait gel you buy, one thing that is common among all of them is the ease of use. All you have to do is place the bait along the ant trails, areas you know these pesky little things frequent. Baseboards, dishwashers, under the sink, in cracks and crevices, etc.

If you are using the syringe types, you just need to apply a long strip along their trail. If using baits, with the gel in it, just place it where you often see them. It only takes a few minutes before you see them come to feast.

Then you can relax and know the process has started.

As with any other pest bait or trap, however, proper application is key for the overall success of the operation. As you can’t just cover your entire home with an ant bait gel it pays to first research which are the exact routes and trails of your ant invaders. Ants may wonder a bit off of their well-traversed routes but they will generally stick to their trails. Another good application for bait trails is to encircle different holes, nooks, and crevices that ants come out of. If you simply apply a relatively wide but complete circle around the whole they crawl out of you can guarantee that they will notice and consume the gel bait.

Safety is another important thing you should keep into consideration. Here are several tips:

  • If you have pets or kids then you should only apply the gel in places they can’t reach.
  • You should use protective rubber gloves when applying the gel to make sure that it doesn’t get on your skin.
  • You should be careful not to touch or wash away the gel after its application.
  • When applying the gel outdoors you should make sure that it can’t be washed away by rain or dried off too easily in the sun.


We have taken you through different types of ant gel baits and how to decide which one to go for. The different active ingredients used in these brands obviously have different effects and the types of ants they are effective against. With the information we have provided, it is our hope that you will find it easy to choose the best ant bait gel for you.

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