Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Disappointing Annoyance For Ants: Raid Ant Baits Don't Really Work!

The Good: Inexpensive, Momentarily effective, No odor, Safe
The Bad: Too safe, Apparently ineffective
The Basics: A disappointing ant bait killed a few ants when I used it, but not all and within a month, the ant population was back in full.

It occurred to me as I was reviewing my ant baits before, that I had never reviewed the ant baits I was replacing them with. Four years ago, I gave the Raid Ant Baits a fair shake. I had my first experience living in rural America with ants and I found my kitchen area and workroom were soon a Resort of Interest to ants four years ago and I went right for a brand name I recognized and I picked up Raid Ant Baits. I now use MaxAttrax Ant Baits (reviewed here! ) and I'm much happier.

Raid Ant Baits come in a four pack for $3.50 and they advertise on the box the usual "Kill the Queen, Kill the colony" line (do you suppose the writers of Heroes were sitting around looking at any baits when they came up with the "Save the Cheerleader, Save the world" slogan?). When I was first . . . invaded, I purchased enough of these baits to place in every location I saw an ant, even once. That meant I bought four boxes (sixteen baits total) of Raid Ant Baits and I set them on every shelf, every counter, every corner of the floor where I had seen even one ant. Ever.

The individual baits are little white plastic ant hotels on a base that is approximately 1 1/2 inches square. The plastic base is connected to a dome that has a weird pattern on it and six openings through which ants may enter. I assume the ants go into those many holes and take the poison back to their lair and die.

Here's the thing, I'm going with "assume" here because the Raid ant baits did not so much work as provide me with a feeling I had done something. The ant population dropped off for a week when I purchased these and set them out. Using the raid ant baits, the ant problem never disappeared, even after a month. So, when I set them out, most of the areas I had baited saw a marked decrease in the number of ants, but only five of the places I set bait had no ants again while these baits were out. The other eleven locations had fewer ants, but there were still ants.

As the old joke on The Simpsons goes, "How many eggs did the spider lay in your brain?" "Frankly, one is too many, sir." In a similar fashion, when I purchase an ant bait or any form of pest control, I want to see either corpses by the ton or I want nothing visible. The MaxAttrax baits disappeared my ant population. I've not seen ants since setting them out and that was less than twenty-four hours ago. I've no idea where those ants are, for all I know, the MaxAttrax just makes them invisible. But the Raid ant baits did not even do that.

With the Raid ant baits, I did find a few dead ants (that meant I had to clean up the corpses, but that was better than seeing them in my stuff). But I did not find nearly enough and I saw far more that were still alive, moving around and appeared healthy, even after a month.

The plus side appears to be that the Raid ant baits do not smell. My cats did not try to get into them, but then, neither (apparently) did the ants. I think I would rather have a bait that smelled a little and actually worked (fortunately, I found another one that did not smell, but does work). As I stopped using this bait years ago, I do not know how easy it is for children to get into them. I'm sure they are not easy.

The Raid ant baits have a satisfaction guarantee, but when I used them I was at a place in my life that I was too timid to exercise such things. I, therefore, cannot comment on the customer service of Raid in this regard. The packaging recommends washing your hands after use, which I always did.

I'm done stretching; it's far easier to say more about a product that actually works. This one does not or not to the extent that I needed it to. It might work for small infestations, but on medium ones, it definitely fell down. Now, I pay less for greater results.

For other pesticide and herbicides, please check out my reviews of:
TAT Ant Traps
Round-Up Weed And Grass Killer
Safer Japanese Beetle traps


For other home and garden product reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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