Everything You Need to Know About Using Ant Bait in Your Pantry

Get a Free Quote

Ants form colonies that may consist of hundreds to millions and have a highly organized social structure. The colonies consist of a queen, the soldiers who are guarding the queen, and the workers. Ants are incredibly efficient hunters; they can build their colonies in the natural cracks of your house or under the soil in your garden.

So what do we need to know about ants invading our pantry? Since our homes’ pantry or kitchen surfaces are where we stock most of our food items, it’s reasonable to assume this is the first place ants will target. The food ants usually hunt consists of nectar, which is found in flowers, seeds, fungus, dead insects, and leftover food. Ants can hunt for their food from their colony located outside your garden straight to your pantry or other locations in your house.

Learn More: Everything You Need to Know About Using Ant Bait for Grass

How Does Ant Bait Work?

Ant bait works by attracting worker ants. Ant bait is usually made to smell and seem like what ants are generally attracted to. These are then mixed with chemicals that can kill and exterminate the ants. The worker ants will not die immediately, so they can transport the bait back to the colony. 

The queen and other ants in the colony then consume the contaminated food product or bait brought back by the worker ants. This could take several trips of the worker ants and span several days. Eventually though, with enough bait eaten by the queen and the other ants, they will all be killed and the colony will be destroyed.

What Makes Ants Go To Your Pantry?

With our busy schedule and various responsibilities throughout the day, we can’t always clean our pantry thoroughly. Most of the time, we just can’t do it, or some even avoid it. Leftover food remnants may be beyond our reach such as under, behind the microwave oven, or behind the dish dryer. A food source like pet foods might even be lodged between the cracks of the pantry tiles. 

A tiny drop of that canned soup you chose for Monday night dinner could be stuck on your kitchen counters or in your kitchen’s nooks and crannies. These leftovers are what attract ants to your pantry:the ants can sense and smell them. Regular and thorough cleaning may  prevent ants from infesting your pantry, but it’s not always a sustainable habit for everyone. Some homes are more prone to ant infestations than others.  This is where ant bait comes in.

Is Ant Bait Safe to Use in Your Pantry?

Ant bait is considered safe and isn’t harmful to adults, children, toddlers, and pets. The harmful chemicals found in the bait are only in small quantities. When accidentally coming into contact like touching or tasting the bait, immediate washing with soap and water and then rinsing with water is sufficient.

The bait is usually placed at the corner of the pantry and far from food and vegetables. People are commonly advised to put small amounts of bait and let it stay for several days to infect more worker ants and eventually kill the ant colony.

Learn More: What Are Good Carpenter Ant Baits?

Homemade Alternatives

Homemade bait may also utilize chemicals and should be applied immediately. Keeping an extra box or container filled with homemade bait for future use is not recommended. The empty plastic containers must be thrown away immediately and disposed of properly.  Small quantities can leak or fall into your yard, garage or driveway. Disposal of the empty airtight containers is necessary and advisable so that the containers will not be reached or played with by children or pets.    


  • In comparison to services provided by a professional ant or insect exterminator and the materials required that are very expensive, homemade alternatives are cheaper.
  • Homemade alternatives are safer, easy to make, and the components are readily available and cheaper than the baits.


  • Frequent preparation of the mixture and application is necessary in order to achieve similar results you would with professional ant traps.
  • The mixtures do not kill the queen or destroy the colony; only ants visible to you.
  • The mixture could be smelly and could cause stains resulting in more frequent cleaning of your pantry.

There are numerous homemade solutions or mixtures that could kill or repel ants. Some examples are:

  • Mixture of dishwashing liquid or soap and water
  • Mixture of boric acid and corn syrup
  • Mixture of white vinegar and water
  • Mixture of sugar and borax paste
  • Soapy water

It will take some time to determine the correct quantity of the mixture to kill or repel all the ants fully. It’s not a one-and-done solution. The mixtures mentioned above do not kill the queen. The queen, who is located under the ground, remains alive because homemade solutions are primarily for repelling ants in various areas and not for killing the colony. A large area should be sprayed with the mixture to kill or repel the ants. Sometimes the ants will usually find another way or path leading to your pantry.

Benefits of Getting Professional Pest Services

When considering professional pest services, you should understand that these are professionals with previous experience locating and analyzing how best to help with your ant infestation. The bait does not need to be sprayed or placed covering a wide area; a corner or two is enough. Limited engagement of professional services is also important; one or two visits from them is enough. The expert can easily determine the correct amount of bait and where to put the baits for effective extermination of the ants. The pest control expert will also properly dispose of the empty containers.

Normally, the professional cost comes with a warranty period. The pest control professional will visit and inspect your pantry and other places where ants were previously found and ensure no more ants are thriving. These visits or inspections are usually free of service charge. However, if required or recommended by the professional, you may have to buy and pay for the additional quantities of the bait.

Professionals can also determine in advance the other potential locations or places, whether inside your house, in your pantry, or outside your yard, to place the bait together with the correct quantity required to prevent ants from returning and thriving again.

Read More: Best Time to Bait Carpenter Ants

Solve Your Ant Infestation Problems with Pinnacle Pest Control 

 professional pest control worker and client shaking hands over a deal

If you have a stubborn ant problem and can’t find the time in your day to figure out how to get rid of them, contact Pinnacle Pest Control, Sacramento’s best in pest control services at home. Pinnacle Pest control has offices located in East Bay, Roseville & Stockton. It’s time to kiss your ant problems at home goodbye with Pinnacle Pest Control. Call 916-381-5793 to get a free quote today.

Related Posts