The Good: Relatively inexpensive, Clean, Effective
The Bad: Needs to be cut apart, Wears out
The Basics: Despite the annoyance of having to cut the baits apart, these are remarkably effective and killing (or disappearing) ants within a day!
When Spring sprang and summer arrived, I found I didn't make an honest pass at spring cleaning. It seems whenever I accomplish anything, the result is I end up basement writing about it. This means there are frequently dishes in the sink, sugar from the coffee mugs I don't quite hit, crumbs. As I live in rural America, this means ants. Damn ants!
This led me to my local hardware store for the fourth year in a row to buy ant bait. It's the third year I've bought MaxAttrax ant bait by Hot Shot. This is the third year I've bought the MaxAttrax ant bait because it worked when the stuff I bought the first year did not hold up its end of the bargain. The MaxAttrax ant bait has proven itself to me as lethally effective against ants and while it wears out within six months (in winter, the ants aren't coming into the house!), I figure it's worth it to buy the traps once a year to combat the insects. It's that or moving and I'm not going to let the ants win!
MaxAttrax ant bait comes in a 4 pack (bright red box) for $1.99 at most stores. Two of these packs take care of my high traffic ant rooms, most notably the kitchen and nearby rooms. The actual traps are sealed inside in a plastic bag and the traps are paired up with a thin piece of plastic. That plastic connector needs to be cut to separate the baits and that's annoying, but it helps to set the bait places other than right next to one another. I would prefer if the baits came individual or there was a way to simply snap the baits apart.
The individual baits are black plastic ant hotels on a base that is 1 1/2 inches square. The plastic base is connected to what is essentially a dome less than 1/2 inch high with four openings. Presumably the ants walk into the dome and that's where the bait/poison is.
Here's the thing, I've never seen an ant walk into one of these things. I've never found legions of ant corpses laying around my house. Come to think of it, after using the MaxAttrax ant baits, I've never seen a single ant body anywhere in the areas where they frequent beforehand. In fact, I've never seen an ant in the house after setting out the ant baits. I don't know where they go, I presume they are all dead, but I know they're not here any longer.
The thing is, the MaxAttrax ant bait advertises that it kills the queen and destroys the colony, but my only proof of this is that when I lay down these baits, I never seen any ants again. Not for a year. Now, as a person of reason, I want to believe that the ants are all the victims of my $1.99 experiment in insect genocide, but I've no empirical proof. The absence of ants is enough for me and if this is some perverse placebo, it's working effectively enough for me.
I suppose the very best baits and insecticides work by the absence of proof and I have to say that this is especially convenient. If all of the ants died in plain view, that would just be another thing for me to clean up around here. That's pretty cool.
For those who have children or animals, for something that kills one form of life, these seem remarkably safe to use. As an experiment, I took some of last years ant baits and attempted to open them. With a knife and a screwdriver, I was able to pry one open, but the process was loud and destroyed most of the bait in the process. The holes in the dome on this product are small enough to prevent children from sticking their fingers in it inadvertently. This seems very child friendly. I have two cats and they avoid these like the plague, which is interesting because my youngest cat has been known to attack things as small as ants before.
So, they are safe, though it's worth noting that the package recommends washing your hands after touching them and I've followed that pretty religiously. The bait emits no scent and they are fairly discrete for those who are worried about appearances.
Finally, the packaging advertises killing within 24 hours. Whatever carnage occurs by the unseen wonder that lures in the ants and kills them, it does indeed happen within a day. I set my yearly purchase out last night and by this morning there were no ants around. None. Not one. Take that!
I am quite impressed by the ant baits from MaxAttrax and while they offer a satisfaction guarantee, I've never had to exercise it; these have always worked. It's why I keep going back for them year after year and you ought to, too.
For other things designed to kill things, please check out my reviews of:
Safer Beetle Traps
TAT Ant Traps
For other home and garden products, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2010, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.