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Frequently Asked Questions




Q: Can TERRO® ant bait be used in homes with children and pets?

A: As with any pesticide, it’s important to read the included instructions for information on how to best store and apply the product around children and pets. Read below to learn more about Borax, the active ingredient in TERRO® liquid bait.


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Q: What can you tell me about the active ingredient Borax?

A: People are often surprised to learn that borax, a natural mineral found in many common household products such as hand soaps and toothpastes, is also the active ingredient found in TERRO® liquid and granular ant baits.

Borax has a low toxicity for people and animals, but ants are another story. When ants consume the borax bait, it interferes with their digestive system and gradually kills them. This slow kill allows time for the worker ants to consume the bait and head back to the nest to share with the rest of the colony.


Q: How do the TERRO® Liquid Ant Baits work to control ant invasions?

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A: Liquid baits are surprisingly simple in the way they work. As ants forage for food, they are drawn to the sweet liquid in TERRO® Liquid Ant Baits. They consume the bait and return to the colony to share with the other ants.

While the active ingredient in the bait will ultimately kill the worker ant, it works slowly enough to allow time for the foraging ants to make several trips to the bait and deliver it back to the rest of the unsuspecting colony. Within a few days, you should see a significant decrease in the number of ants visiting the bait.

The liquid ant bait station should remain as undisturbed as possible while the ants are actively feeding on it. Because this is a bait product, it is important to eliminate other food in the area to ensure the ants aren't tempted to eat anything but the (deadly) liquid ant bait.


Q: I just placed several TERRO® Liquid Ant Baits in my kitchen and it's attracting more ants, not killing them! What's going on?

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A:You have nothing to worry about! Initially, you will see more ants. As ant foragers look for food, they are attracted to the sweet liquid in the bait which they consume and carry back to feed to the rest of the colony. On the way back to the nest, the ants drop what it called a 'trail pheromone', letting the other ants know where the tasty food supply is. In turn, these ants follow the trail to the bait which explains why you initially see more ants.

The active ingredient in the bait interferes with the ants digestive systems, eventually killing the ants within 24-48 hours after consumption. This slow kill gives the worker ants enough to get back and share the bait with the colony. Baiting is the only way to successfully wipe out the ants you see and the thousands you don't.


Q: Is there an expiration date on TERRO® liquid ant bait products?

A: The ant bait does not have an expiration date, as the effectiveness of the active ingredient does not diminish over time. However, like any food-based product, the bait may become less appetizing to foraging ants after an extended shelf life. We recommend using fresh bait if you've had the same liquid bait for more than two years.


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Q: The liquid in my bottle of TERRO® Ant Killer appears to have hardened and is difficult to pour. Is it still effective?

A: The active ingredient in the ant bait doesn't diminish over time, but it will not work if the liquid has started to harden and or crystallize.


Q: I noticed the color of the liquid ant bait has turned brown – will it still work?

A: The color doesn't really matter - the liquid may turn a shade of yellow or brown when exposed to warm temperatures. However, the liquid bait should have the consistency of pancake syrup and be easy to pour. If it becomes too thick or dries out the ants cannot consume the bait.


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Q: I've been using TERRO® Liquid Ant Bait for the past few days. When should I remove the bait stations?

A: We recommend leaving the bait out for three to four days after signs of ant activity diminish. If no more ants appear, remove the bait, relax and enjoy being ant-free!


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Q: Can I use the liquid ant bait outdoors?

A: Absolutely! TERRO® Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits are specifically designed for outdoor ant control. The ant bait comes enclosed in a weather-proof station that protects the bait from the elements and prevents it from drying out. The bait stations are pre-filled and ready to use so you don't have to worry about drips and spills. To use, simply place the bait stations near ant trails or areas where ants are congregating. Replace the bait stations every 3 months to keep the ants from returning.


Q: The ants in my kitchen are avoiding the TERRO® Ant Killer – can you explain why?

A: As long as the bait is in liquid form it should be effective because the active ingredient does not diminish over time. Try placing a few fresh drops of bait out in the morning and again at night for a few days. If this doesn't attract them, the ants may have found another food source, be seeking a grease-based vs. sugar-based food, or be in the breeding cycle of their colony and not interested in eating.


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Q: How long does it take to eliminate an ant colony with TERRO® Liquid Ant Bait?

A: Remember, this is a BAIT ant control product and will initially attract a lot of ants. The ants consume large quantities of the bait and then return to the nest and share it with the rest of the colony.  This process can take from just a couple days to several weeks, depending on the size of the colony. Each ant that consumes the bait will die within 24 - 48 hours. It is important to leave the bait as undisturbed as possible while the ants are actively feeding on it. You should replace it only if it becomes inaccessible to the ants, or empty.


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Q: I love your Outdoor Liquid Ant Bait but I also have other insects invading my yard. Do you have a product that will get rid of more than just ants?

A: We do! We recommend using TERRO® Perimeter Ant Bait Plus or TERRO® Multi-Purpose Insect Bait to battle multiple outdoor pest invasions. Long lasting and weather resistant, the ant bait granules not only kill entire colonies of outdoor ants – including carpenter ants - it also is effective against cockroaches, crickets, earwigs, silverfish, slugs and snails.

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The granular bait, which is borate-based and formulated with a concern for the environment, has a delayed effect on ants. The ants consume the bait and transport the food back to the colony and share it - that's how entire colonies are eradicated. Within a few days, you will see significantly fewer ants and insects in your yard. And, because the active ingredient can be used safely around children and pets, they may enter the treatment area immediately after application.

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