Toxic to Dogs

Are Ant Traps Toxic to Dogs?



Your dog grabbed the ant trap in the corner of a room and decided to make it a snack. Now, you’re worried because you don’t know the answer to, “Are ant traps toxic to dogs?”

Good news!

Veterinarian Dr. Scott Nimmo MRCVS, BVMS says, “even a small dog would have to eat the contents of quite a few of these traps before there would be any serious toxicity concerns.”

So, your furbaby is safe from ant poison in ant baits unless he/she consumed multiple traps.

But, WAIT!

While the contents of the ant trap may not harmful to your pup, the plastic can be a problem. It’s important that you know what to look for to see if the plastic your furbaby ingested is going to cause a health problem.

Why Ant Traps Are Bad for Dogs

Plastic can cause:

  • Lacerations
  • Punctures
  • Blockages

When chewed, plastic causes similar issues as pine cones do. Consider reading, “Are Pine Cones Bad for Dogs?

What To Do If Your Dog Eats an Ant Trap?

Pet owners should do the following after discovering their dog has eaten an ant trap.

Call Your Vet

The best thing to do after your dog eats an ant trap is to call your vet. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Feed Your Pup

The veterinarian will likely ask you to keep a close eye on your pup and feed him/her something yummy. The theory behind it is that the food may cover the pieces of plastic to reduce the risks of the sharp sides injuring the stomach and intestines on the way out of the body.

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Watch for Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Issues

Your pup may suffer from the following health problems:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody Stool
  • Straining
  • Anxiety / Panic
  • Drooling
  • Overall Discomfort

The above signs may be a sign your pup is suffering from a blockage, which can be life-threatening. Call your vet to report the symptoms you notice. The vet will be able to guide you on whether or not you’ll need to bring your pup in for a vet visit.

What If Your Dog Eats Multiple Traps

If you’ve scrolled down to this section, you’re likely trying to figure out if the ant poison is still a concern, especially if your pup devoured a few ant baits.

Below are the most popular types of ant baits and how much of the active ingredient is included in one:

Raid Ant Trap

This ant bait trap has 0.05% of avermectin – it’s a common ingredient in ant control.

Enforcer Ant Killer

Abamectin is the main ingredient in this ant bait product and is completely non-toxic to dogs.

Combat Ant Bait Product

This ant bait has 0.001% fipronil, which is a toxic ingredient for ants – not dogs.

Hot Shot Ant Bait

Hot Shot ant bait contains 0.05% of indozacarb.

So, if all of these ant bait products have a minuscule amount of ant poison in them, how many would your dog need to eat? Way more than our dog would want to eat. Most of the traps are filled with a sugary substance, which is really what your dog is looking for when stealing them off your floor.

Are Terro Ant Traps Toxic to Dogs?

This brand of ant control has 5% Boric Acid. Do not worry. Again, even 5% boric acid isn’t enough to hurt your dog – it’s just an effective ant killer. Yes, even if your pup ate two or three Terror ant bait traps.

Still concerned? We don’t blame you! You can always contact the Pet Poison Helpline(855) 764-7661. The Pet Poison Helpline charges $65 for advice, so just know that when you decide to call.

See also  Can Dogs Eat Breadsticks? A Vet's Perspective

Consider Dog Insurance for Emergencies

Poison or plastic ingestion can lead to serious health problems, which could lead to not only devastating heartache but costly vet bills. Dog insurance could help with those vet bills, so all you have to worry about is letting the veterinarian do whatever it takes to help your pup feel better.

Alternatives to Plastic Ant Bait Stations for an Ant Problem

If plastic continues to be a problem with your ant bait stations and dog(s), you may want to consider other forms of ant killer that are pet safe.

Diatomaceous Earth (Silicon Dioxide)

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a type of silica (the remains of aquatic organisms – diatoms). If you have a pool, you know it as DE. It’s great for killing an ant colony just by sprinkling it on them or where they march into your home. You can buy DE on Amazon – click here.

Glass Cleaner or Liquid Detergent

This is another pet-safe ant killer. Just spray where ants usually come into your home and where you see an ant colony. It will kill them.

Ground Black or Red Pepper

If you have an ant infestation, bring out the ground black or red (cayenne) pepper. It will keep them away from your home. They hate it.

Peppermint Oil

This isn’t only a pet-safe ant killer, but it also kills mosquitos! Drop about 10-20 drops of oil into two cups of water to make this insecticide mixture. Pour it in a clear plastic spray bottle and spray around all openings in your home – windows, doorways, baseboards, and everywhere else.

WARNING: Diluted peppermint oil sprayed around your home is not toxic to pets (dogs and cats) but keep the essential oil away from your pets. It is toxic if ingested at full strength.

Order peppermint oil on Amazon by clicking here.

Tea Tree Oil

This is another essential oil that’s a pet-safe ant killer as long as it is diluted. For this one, mix 5-10 drops in two cups of water. Pour the mixture into a clear plastic spray bottle and use it around your home. Alternatively, you can use a cotton ball to rub the mixture around all entrances around your home.

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Other oils effective in killing and deterring ants are:

Coffee Grounds

Do not throw away coffee grounds! Sprinkle some on a piece of paper, like an index card, and place it near where ants like to congregate (pet bowls, kitchen counters, etc.). Replace the grounds when they become dry to ensure they don’t lose their effectiveness.


Use lemon rinds to detract ants wherever you don’t want them, such as inside cupboards. Spray lemon juice around doorways and windows to remove pheromone trails. It can also mask the scent of food, which is what attracts ants.

Non-DIY Ant Killer

Since many dogs believe plastic ant bait is a pet toy, you may want to consider other forms of ant killers besides the DIY ones above.

Liquid or gel ant killer is a great option. It’s effective, you don’t have to do anything but apply it, and your pup won’t even notice it there.

Optigard Ant Bait Gel

Use the included syringe to place the gel wherever you’ve noticed ants. The attractiveness of the bait increases in high-moisture water areas and lasts for about two weeks. Ants feed on the gel and bring some of it back to their ant colony for the queen and her worker ants, which kills all of them.

Most users see dead ants within a couple of days. For larger ant infestations, it can take up to a week to see results.

Each box contains 4 syringes, which is more than enough for most indoor and outdoor ant problems.

optigard ant bait gel

Combat Ant Killing Gel

Combat MAXX has its own version of Optigard. It works the same way but is about $12 cheaper. Optigard is known for its ant bait gel and some say it works better than Combat’s brand, but you can decide for yourself if you decide to try it.

Be sure to come back to Dog OwnershIp Guide if you decide to use Combat’s version of the ant bait gel syringe. We would love to know how well it worked for you.

combat ant kill gel

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5 thoughts on “Are Ant Traps Toxic to Dogs?”

  1. Wow, the things one must consider if you’ve got a puppy. Probably comparable to a human baby or toddler.
    I like that you’re listing (natural) alternatives to get rid of ants. Coffee grounds, lemon rinds, ground pepper – all things that won’t bother me at all since I like their smell. I may have heard ants -unlike me – really dislike ground cinnamon.

  2. Yes, just as long as they don’t eat the bottle of essential oil that is… Thanks for your comment Mrtha!


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