Everything I Use to Keep Ants Out Of My Pet’s Food

The best ant traps, products and tips that I use to keep ants away from pet food in my household.
Trap ants with <a href="https://www.amazon.com/TERRO-T300-Liquid-Ant-Baits/dp/B000HJBKMQ?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=62e1db54e4b07f83766bdb24%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" target="_blank" data-affiliate="true" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="powerful liquid bait " data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="62e1db54e4b07f83766bdb24" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.amazon.com/TERRO-T300-Liquid-Ant-Baits/dp/B000HJBKMQ?tag=tessaflores-20&ascsubtag=62e1db54e4b07f83766bdb24%2C-1%2C-1%2Cd%2C0%2C0%2Chp-fil-am%3D0%2C0%3A0%2C0%2C0%2C0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="0">powerful liquid bait </a>and eliminate their trail with <a href="https://goto.target.com/c/2706071/81938/2092?subId1=antstuff-TessaFlores-080122-62e1db54e4b07f83766bdb24&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.target.com%2Fp%2Fisopropyl-70-alcohol-antiseptic-32oz-up-38-up-8482%2F-%2FA-11454824" target="_blank" data-affiliate="true" role="link" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol." data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="62e1db54e4b07f83766bdb24" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://goto.target.com/c/2706071/81938/2092?subId1=antstuff-TessaFlores-080122-62e1db54e4b07f83766bdb24&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.target.com%2Fp%2Fisopropyl-70-alcohol-antiseptic-32oz-up-38-up-8482%2F-%2FA-11454824" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="1">70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol.</a>
Amazon, Target
Trap ants with powerful liquid bait and eliminate their trail with 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol.

One of the highest items on my list of blood-boiling annoyances is the occasional torrent of ants that invade my kitchen to help themselves to my cat’s liver paté. Even after my obsessive cleaning and moving his food to different areas, the insects would return with a vengeance and an insatiable appetite for Fancy Feast. My frustration only fueled my search to find a way to get rid of ants forever –– or at least long enough to only have to deal with them once or twice a year.

I should start off by saying that I’m no pest-control expert. I am only a consumer that has tested out just about all of the bait, traps, sprays and hacks known to humankind in an effort to eliminate these pesky little critters from my home. I welcome you to enjoy the fruits of my hard labor and scroll on to see the best products that have worked for me in my quest to permanently banish ants from my home.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

1
Amazon
The only ant killer that seems to do the job
When I tell you that I have tried nearly every spray, trap and ant repellent on the market, I say it with no exaggeration (and total exhaustion). The Terro Ant Killer is the only ant bait that I have seen that actually traps and kills large masses of ants and keeps them away for extended periods of time.

The company attributes the effectiveness of these pre-filled liquid baits to the fact that the design takes advantage of the communal nature of ants. Initially the ants will become drawn to the syrupy liquid inside and consume it before bringing the active ingredient inside the liquid (borax) back to their colonies. This creates a pheromone trail that attracts more ants, which is why initially you will see an influx. But after a few days, the borax has spread to the colonies and even groups of individual ants, to kill them off and prevent them from returning.

Because the liquid in these baits is incredibly sticky, I always place them on top of a folded piece of paper, just in case the liquid drips out of the end. Once the basin has become filled with dead ants and you no longer see a trail of them swarming the trap, you can neatly dispose of it using the paper.
2
Target
70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol for eliminating their trail
When I was first hunting for ant-control solutions, I had read somewhere that rubbing alcohol not only killed ants on contact, it also killed the pheromones left behind in their trail –– the main thing that ants rely on to find a way inside your home and to their perceived food source. After trying it out for myself, I was pleased to find that rubbing alcohol was indeed a quick and affordable solution that actually worked. I also like how quick drying it is, so if you don't manage to sop it all up after applying it to an area, it's not a big deal because it evaporates on its own.

I typically will reserve rubbing alcohol application to initial ant sightings that involve just one or two ants nosing along a window sill or crown molding, or after I have completely used up a Terro liquid ant bait. I would also say to be careful which surface you apply this to because it might cloud up certain sealants or coatings used on wood furniture or flooring.
3
Amazon
A few highly-rated spray bottles for the rubbing alcohol
It's not entirely necessary to put your rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle, however, I prefer this method because it allows me to apply the alcohol more accurately and quickly, especially if I'm aiming for a vertical surface like a wall. I keep a few spray bottles underneath the kitchen sink, in the bathroom and laundry room so I can conveniently grab one if I happen to see an ant that's brave enough to cross my path.
4
Amazon
A set of four mountable ant bait stations
The same trusted liquid bait in the ant traps above is also found in these mountable bait stations. These stations can provide a more aesthetically pleasing approach to ant killing because they can be mounted and discreetly hidden along baseboards or on the underside of cabinets using the included adhesive strips.
5
Amazon
A hole-filling foam sealant the color of concrete
I live in an older home that was built in the late 1920s, and as much as I love the vintage charm, the interior has been subjected to some normal wear and tear over the years, especially when it comes to holes and gaps that allow those pesky ants to make it inside.

This quick-drying expanding foam is a great beginner-friendly solution to sealing off gaps in grout or exposed spaces inside or outside the house. I also like the precision tip that it comes with and the fact that it near-completely mimics the grout that is used in my kitchen and bathroom. It adheres to a variety of surfaces, creates a long-lasting air-tight seal that's resistant to water and it's also pesticide-free.
6
Amazon
An elevated bowl stand to keep your pet's food off of the ground
My cat's salmon-laced kibble seems to be the main attraction for ants, especially if the food bowl is closer to the floor. Now, I'm no entomologist, but I thought that if I elevated the cat's food away from where I typically see the ants, it might make it harder for them to get to, and, after several years, my hypothesis has held up surprisingly well.

These food-grade ceramic bowls rest in a tilted and elevated stand that not only keep the food farther from the floor, butthe slight angle is also apparently better for your cat's neck and digestion. The stand comes in either in a light bamboo or deeper walnut tone and the easy-to-clean bowls won't be nudged or knocked over while your pet eats.

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