If you have an ant problem, you likely want to get rid of it as fast as possible. However, you may have some questions before you do. One of the most common questions is, “What do exterminators use to kill ants?”

It’s important to know what chemicals exterminators use to make sure you’re fully comfortable with the process. Keep reading to find the answer to your question.

What Do Exterminators Use to Kill Ants?

There are a number of chemicals exterminators use to kill ants. What’s more, an exterminator may have to use multiple chemicals for one treatment if the ants have acquired an immunity to a certain chemical. Here are a few of the most popular choices, and why.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is one of the most common chemicals in the extermination world. Usually, it’s spread around the house as a powder.

Not only is it effective at killing ants, but it’s also used for cockroaches and termites. Boric acid attracts the ants with its sweetness, then poisons their stomachs once digested. Even better, the ants take the boric acid back to their nest thinking its a sweet treat like sugar and end up poisoning their own kind.

Your exterminator should always let you know if boric acid is being used, as it can be potentially harmful to pets and children.


Hydramethylnon slowly but effectively kills tons of pests, from ants to crickets to silverfish and cockroaches.

Like boric acid, hydramethylnon won’t kill the ants right away. Instead, it kills them over a period of a few days, giving the ants time to bring plenty of the chemical back to their nest. This will end up killing a lot of ants over time, and should eventually take care of your problem completely.


Fipronil is a good poison as it’s less toxic than hydramethynon.

When an ant comes in contact with fipronil it attacks the ant’s nervous system. Fipronil is typically set up around ant nests and entry points — places where the ants are likely to go. Fipronil has a moldy odor that attracts a wide number of pests, including ants, beetles, ticks, cockroaches, and fleas to name a few.

Piperonyl Butoxide

While not a poison on its own, piperonyl butoxide is added to many pesticides to make them more effective.

Piperonyl butoxide inhibits ants’ metabolism, leading them to succumb to poisons faster. If your exterminator is using any of the pesticides above, there’s a big chance they’re adding this to the mix.

The Wide World of Ant Control Chemicals

So, what do exterminators use to kill ants?

As you can see, there are a few possible chemicals your exterminator might use. If you’re not sure what they’re using or have concerns about a certain chemical, ask them before they start their treatment. It’s always better to be informed before having poison laid down. We offer a Bug-Free Home service that keeps ants outside.

If you’re looking for a reliable exterminator in the Southern Maryland or Northern Virginia areas, including Arlington, Falls Church, Calvert County, and Charles County, contact Planet Friendly Pest Control today.

If you live in Southern Maryland, or Northern Virginia and need help please call us now or visit our website here.