Pet safe ant killers are any substance that will kill ants without causing injury or harm to pets, mainly cats and dogs. To a lesser extent, fish and birds are also considered pets by those who keep them.

There are many insecticides that will kill ants but are harmful to pets. There are other pesticides that may be harmful when they’re wet or ingested in large quantities (several gallons or more) but are safe once they’re dry.
Below is a quick list of all my top picks. Keep scrolling to learn more about my best buying tips and tricks.


1. TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Bait Ant Killer

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These pre-filled ant bait stations use Borax as the active ingredient to kill an entire ant colony of carpenter ants, fire ants, sugar ants, and more.

Each of the clear plastic ant traps has a no-scissors tab on the end that can be twisted off to open the bait trap.

Worker ants smell the attractant on the bait and think it’s a food source. They walk into the bait station to eat, then carry the bait back to the colony, feed it to them, and it begins killing them in a few days.

You can put these liquid bait stations on ant trails where you’ve observed ants coming and going then relax. Keep the bait stations out of reach of your pets though as some customers have noted a tendency for their pets to play with them.

The Good:

  • Easy to use
  • No spraying required
  • The active ingredient is Borax
  • It kills the entire ant colony

The Bad:

  • It takes several days before it will kill ants


  • Effective bait traps
  • Wipes out the entire colony
  • Gets rid of an ant problem without using an ant spray

2. EcoRaider Ant Killer

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This natural ant killer from EcoRaider is a plant-based neuron blocker that targets insects but is non-toxic to humans, animals, birds, or fish. Since the active ingredients are comprised of lemongrass and other natural oils, the EPA doesn’t classify EcoRaider as a harmful pesticide. So, it is safe to use around children and pets.

Eco raider ant killer is effective on these pests:

  • Odorous house ants
  • Fire ants
  • Mites
  • Lice

EcoRaider is formulated to not only kill ants but to disrupt their pheromone trails. This prevents ant colonies from reorganizing and reentering homes and businesses. This residual effect lasts up to four weeks without any noxious odors.

You can either use EcoRaider as a contact spray or as a residual insecticide to keep foraging ants away. The 16-ounce bottle comes with an easy-to-use spray pump. Just point and shoot.

The Good:

  • Kills ants and other insects on contact
  • Natural ingredients
  • Safe for children, pets, and the environment
  • Long-lasting residual effects
  • Easy to use, no extra equipment needed

The Bad:

  • Strong citrus scent may be off putting to some
  • Contains trace amounts of glycerol and silica


  • Natural ingredients
  • Professional pest control product
  • Safe for children, pets, and the environment

3. Raid Essentials Ant Spider & Roach Killer


  • Uses natural ingredients
  • Safe to use indoors
  • Convenient packaging, easy to use

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4. Ortho Home Defense


  • Contains five powerful essential oils
  • Kills bugs on contact
  • Sprays at all angles

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5. Syngenta – TRTD11568 – Optigard Ant Bait Gel

Optigard is a professional gel bat for ants. The active ingredient is Thiamethoxam, .010%. It comes in four, 30-gram tubes with a needle-like tip on one end.

A plunger fits in the other end so it resembles an over-sized hypodermic needle.

Push gently on the plunger to exude a tiny dot of bait, about half the size of a pencil eraser. Put the dots about 24-36 inches apart, alongside or on the ant trails inside the house.

You can also use it outside as long as it’s not in direct sunlight or rain.

Worker ants eat and take it back to the colony. Eventually, the whole colony will die. Keep it in a cool, dark storage space when it’s not in use.

The Good:

  • Simple to use
  • Kills the entire colony
  • Can be used inside or outside
  • Professional-strength pesticide
  • Place the bait exactly where you want it to go

The Bad:

  • It requires some time and patience to apply


  • Kills the entire colony
  • Can be used inside or outside
  • Professional-strength pesticide

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What Are The Different Types of Pet Safe Killers For Ants?

“Pet safe” is an elastic term that can mean different things in different contexts. Many pesticides labeled as pet safe are still dangerous or harmful if they’re ingested in their raw or undiluted form.

Here are some of the most common active ingredients that are generally considered safe.

  • Diatomaceous Earth: it is the fossilized shells of microscopic sea or freshwater creatures called diatoms. Food grade diatomaceous earth is often eaten to help with digestive issues. It is only harmful if the dust is inhaled.
  • Essential Oils: a natural extract from a single plant. Examples are thyme, clove, peppermint, geranium, and wintergreen. The concentrated form can sting the skin or cause eye irritation.
  • D-Limonene: an orange peel extract that acts as a nerve toxin for insects. Because it’s a concentrate, it can be harmful if ingested.
  • 2-Phenethyl propionate: found in plants such as apple brandy, apple cider, beer, guava, peanuts, and rum. In Texas, it’s considered a “green” botanical pesticide.
  • Cedarwood Oil: a generic term for essential oils produced from several different species of Juniper trees. Because of this, there isn’t any standardization and each batch will be slightly different.
  • Borax or Boric Acid: sodium borate salts are natural minerals often used as pesticides. It is generally considered non-toxic to fish, birds, and mammals, especially in low doses.
  • Indoxacarb: a chemical pesticide with low toxicity levels according to laboratory testing.
  • Spinosad: a natural substance made by bacteria in the soil. It has low toxicity but can cause irritation and redness in the eyes.
  • Imidacloprid: this is a neonicotinoid, a synthetic version of nicotine. It is slightly toxic to fish but is generally regarded as safe for mammals.
  • Bifenthrin: this is a professional pesticide, a pyrethroid, a synthetic version of pyrethrum, which is an extract from chrysanthemum flowers. Pets that ingest the concentrate may display single-episode symptoms.
  • Thiamethoxam: another synthetic version of nicotine. It is generally regarded as having low toxicity to people and animals once it has been properly mixed.

What Makes Ant Killers Pet Friendly?

If you don’t have to take any special precautions to protect your pets, before, during, and after application, that would make it pet-friendly. If you have to be careful during any stage of the application, it’s not pet-friendly.

If an ant killer doesn’t reliably kill ants, it’s not an ant killer and it doesn’t matter how friendly or harmless it is to pets. A pet-friendly ant killer has to kill ants and not require any special precautions during application.

Are Regular Ant Killers Unsafe For Dogs And Cats?

Hydramethlynon is used as the active ingredient in products like Amdro, an ant bait granule made for outdoor use. It’s generally safe for mammals, but oral ingestion by dogs can cause vomiting and gagging.

There’s no scientific data specifically addressing Hydramethylnon in cats, but cats are usually more susceptible to chemicals than dogs, so caution is recommended.

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