How to Kill Argentine Ants (and how the ant killers work)

Argentine ants grow into supercolonies, and they can be difficult to deal with, especially as the colonies grow bigger. But there is a strategy that’s proven the most effective in getting rid of Argentine ants. To control and eventually kill Argentine ants, you have to find slow-acting ant baits. Though it’s tempting to find the fastest-acting bait, dust, or spray insecticides to kill the ants, slow-acting baits are more effective because they give the worker ants more time to return to the colony to find and distribute the poison; killing the colony within, including the Queen ants. The queens don’t get time to lay more eggs because they received signals after some of the worker ants scattered.

Pesticide sprays, on the other hand, only kill the worker ants but not the queens because the spray won’t reach the colony’s core.

Remember that colonies of Argentine ants will have thousands of ants made of 90% worker ants and 10% Queens. Each ant lives for a year, the male workers live for a year but die after mating with the queens, and the sterile male workers keep working and die out after a year. And with several colonies congregating into one, it might appear impossible to kill them all unless the queens are targeted; use of slow-acting ant killers is often recommended.

How to kill Argentine Ants

Type of Argentine Ant Killer Ingredients Action
Liquid baits Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate/

Boric acid

Slow acting

(kills on contact/ when ingested)

Gel Indoxacarb Slow-acting

(kills on contact/ when ingested – affects metabolism) with long residual effects

Insecticidal dust/ powder Boric acid Slow acting
Natural liquid baits Neem oil and Azadirachtin Slow-acting

Affects metabolism

Using Baits

Some of the best slow-acting ant baits include Green Way Liquid Ant Bait, whose main active ingredient, Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate, kills the ants slowly. It is effective in killing ant colonies, including the queens. It is a honeydew formula, and its main ingredient is a UNI-TRACT insect attractant that’s USDA-patented. Whether used as is or diluted with equal parts water, the ants will be attracted to it, feeding on this chemical formulation and subsequently dying. But as mentioned above, this bait is slow-acting, which means that the worker ants will have time to return to their nests after consuming the bait. They will feed the younger ants and the queens, effectively destroying the ant colony.

So, if you have been looking for an ant killer for Argentine ants, this ant-killing bait might be the best option for you because its delayed killing action means a higher success rate for the insecticide.

Using Gels

Alternatively, you could fight the Argentine ants by using the popular Advion Ant Gel, which is formulated with Indoxacarb that kills multiple species of ants and other bugs easily. Advion ant gel’s formulation features the use of highly innovative technologies and ingredients that make it one of the most effective and controls. Indoxacarb is its bioactivated ingredient that boasts powerful insecticidal properties. Indoxacarb affects the insect’s metabolism, killing the insects that ingest Advion. It also kills insects on contact, meaning that worker ants exposed to or carrying Indoxacarb-containing Advion on their bodies will die from contact with the insecticidal, and all other ants that come in contact with these ants will die. Therefore, it an ideal remedy when handling infestations from the Argentine ants’ mega colonies.

Using insecticidal dust

Insecticidal powders could also be used to kill Argentine ants. You only make sure that it’s formulated with ingredients that will kill the ants. One of the insecticidal powders or dust you could try is BorActin Dust which is made of Boric acid (Orthoboric acid) and can kill pretty much all species of ants, except for the carpenter ants. This ant killer is resistant to moisture and heat, and it retains its potency for years.

Boric acid is an effective ant killer because it is, in essence, a poison to ants. How exactly does it kill ants? Boric acid impacts the stomachs of ants, as well as their nervous system and the ants’ exoskeletons, affecting the ants’ ability to live.

Using Natural/ Organic liquid baiting stations for long-term outdoor ant prevention

To battle large infestations outdoors and to prevent re-infestations after a few weeks, it might be a good idea to try the liquid ant bait stations. This Organic Neem Bliss 100% Pure Cold-Pressed Neem Seed Oil is one of the most effective organic ant killers and repellents. It is an effective remedy thanks to neem’s strong garlicky smell that is repulsive (but some insects are unstoppable by smells), and to back this up; it also boasts a high Azadirachtin content. What you need to know about Azadirachtin is that it is an extract from the neem tree that is used commercially as an insect growth regulator. It controls the metamorphosis of the ants as they pass from the larvae to pupae stages, reducing the population of new ants.

It also inhibits the synthesis of proteins in most insect tissues once it has been ingested, impairing food digestion in the insects, resulting in toxicity in the gut and death. You could use it indoors or outdoors.

Never Kill Argentine Using Ant Sprays

Argentine ants survive best in damp areas because they need water. They also live in areas close to their food sources, and they are highly attracted to citrusy and sugary foods, along with meats, oils, fats, and eggs. They also leave pheromones wherever they’ve been, attracting more ants.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you should use aerosol sprays to kill the Argentine ants. The reason for this is that in as much as the spray pesticide repellents will kill some of the ants on contact, spraying doesn’t kill the queens. In fact, it does the opposite and forces the threatened queens to lay more eggs, which only compounds the problem.

Conclusion

Dealing with Argentine ants infestations can prove difficult without the right products, but the baits and powdered insecticidal above ensure that you end the ants’ menace by targeting the workers and the queens in the ants’ population. The slow-acting insecticidals are the best recommended options.

FAQs

How do I identify Argentine ants?

Argentine ants are small, light-to-dark brown ants that may crawl and bite onto people while they sleep. Their main identifying feature, however, has to be the musty smell that they carry everywhere. This smell intensifies when the ants are crushed. They also feature a sharp, pointed peak at the node of the abdomen.

What is the difference between queen and argentine worker ants?

The queens have wings, but the workers are wingless.

Landon Easton

Landon Easton is a professional in pest control and has observed that most homeowners, will fumigate their homes, but overlook many of the potential pest-infected areas. And because of the above, he advises individuals to get the help of a professional if the infestation is extensive and beyond their control. According to Landon, professionals in pest management have hands-on experience given that they have worked in many different properties and can, therefore, easily figure out areas that are likely to be more infested. Mild pest infestation can be handled with the common insecticides, or better yet, you could consult the comprehensive excerpts at Your Pest Guide when unsure about dealing with particular types of pests.

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