Is Terro Safe For Pets? Everything You Need To Know

Terro ant bait that's safe for pets

Terro is one of the most popular forms of ant bait around. It would be hard to find a house that hasn’t used it at some point!

But is Terro safe for pets?

This guide will help you determine if this pest control product can harm your furry friends, and teach you how to use it safely.

Is Terro Safe For Pets?

Here’s the thing about getting rid of ants: It often requires dangerous chemicals. Most pest control experts use stronger solutions that can kill ants on contact. While those products provide quick and reliable results, they have many unwanted side effects.

Those products are chemical-laden, leaving behind a strong smell and tons of residue. Even after a waiting period and plenty of ventilation, the smell can linger long after treatment. As you can imagine, it makes your home less-than-safe for you, your family, and your pets.

Terra Liquid Ant Killer, 12 Bait Stations

  • Kills common household ants including acrobat, crazy, ghost, little black, odorous house, pavement, and other sweet-eating ants
  • As worker ants discover the bait, they share it with the rest of the colony to eliminate them all
  • You should see a significant decrease in the number of ants visiting the bait stations within just a few days
  • Place stations near areas where you’ve seen ant activity

But what about Terro? Here’s where Terro beats out some of the stronger alternatives, and it’s likely what makes the bait products so popular.

Terro is safe for pets, but is lethal to ants. Technically speaking, it’s a low-toxicity product. However, the low dosing used makes it less of an issue.

There is always the potential for Terro to cause some real health issues in pets, but they’d have to consume a lot of the liquid ant bait to experience them. Even a full commercial bottle of the Terro isn’t going to be a big deal for cats, dogs, and other common household pets.

Even your child is safe! Because of its low toxicity, you can treat your pest problem without worrying about potential issues.

How It Affects Dogs

Dogs have a bad habit of getting into things they’re not supposed to. From large Dobermans to tiny Chihuahuas, they love to get into the trash, explore icky messes, and eat foods that aren’t truly foods.

That includes Terro ant bait!

Unfortunately, that sweet and sticky liquid that ants love is just as enticing to dogs. Dogs will get into the bait and lick up the borax.

So what happens?

Luckily, not much. Depending on the size of your dog, they might not even react to it! Larger dogs have extensive systems that will make quick work of any irritants in the formula.

But small or medium-sized dogs are a different story. When they lick up the borax-rich Terro, they might experience some stomach issues.

Don’t be surprised if your dog starts eating grass. These creatures consume grass to settle stomach problems. It’s an attempt to prevent the pain from causing any more trouble.

In many cases, the grass eating is followed by subsequent vomiting. If you notice that your dog ate the Terro, it’s a good idea to prepare for vomiting and possible diarrhea.

Terro is safe for pets and won’t cause death or major health issues in dogs. But, it can cause a night or two of stomach discomfort!

How It Affects Cats

Cats have a reputation for being more aloof than dogs. But make no mistake: Your kitty can get into trouble just like the best of canines!

Their ability to navigate tight spaces can create some problems. While you could easily position Terro out of a dog’s reach, that’s not the case with cats. They can squeeze into tight spots to get bait if they feel inclined.

So what happens when they eat Terro? For the most part, they experience the same symptoms as dogs. Terro is pet safe and isn’t enough to cause issues in most felines.

But, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Smaller cats and kittens might feel the effects even worse. Their bodies are pretty small, and even the most benign foreign substance will wreak havoc on their delicate systems.

Fortunately, Terro and its borax content aren’t lethal. As long as your cat didn’t eat several bottles of the stuff, they should be fine after a day of discomfort.

What About Terro Ant Dust?

Terro ant bait usually comes in liquid form. However, that’s not the only product available from the Terro brand.

Terro also makes ant dust.

The dust is pretty similar to the liquid formula. It, too, uses borax as an active ingredient. In this form, the borax is closer to what you’d see it as in the grocery store.

Borax for household use in detergents and soaps is usually granular, forming a soft powder. If you buy Terro ant dust, you’ll notice that the consistency is remarkably similar.

Terra Liquid Ant Killer, 12 Bait Stations

  • Kills common household ants including acrobat, crazy, ghost, little black, odorous house, pavement, and other sweet-eating ants
  • As worker ants discover the bait, they share it with the rest of the colony to eliminate them all
  • You should see a significant decrease in the number of ants visiting the bait stations within just a few days
  • Place stations near areas where you’ve seen ant activity

Of course, Terro also adds other ingredients into the mix.

The dust works the same way. You place it wherever ants are causing trouble and wait for them to mistake it for food. As the scouts find the dust, they signal out to workers and haul it back to the nest.

Because the dust is granular, it’s usually easier for the pests to take the bait back to the nest one by one. If you’re lucky, you may even spot them meandering through your home from the nest to the bait.

Like before, the dust does damage to the digestive system. It also works slowly, making it a powerful tool for ant infestations!

There are a few different dust products from Terro. But most are advertised as long-lasting, providing ongoing protection against ants for several months.

Terro ant dust is typically deemed less safe for pets because it’s out in the open. That means it’s easy for your pets to access and consume it. We recommend only using this product in areas where you’re sure your pets won’t be able to reach it.

How To Use Terro Ant Bait When You Have Pets

If you have pets in the home, you’ll have to be extra careful about how you use Terro.

Yes, Terro is safe for pets, but it would be best if you still exercised caution. The product can cause tons of discomfort for your furry friend, so you’ll need to take steps to ensure that they don’t accidentally consume it.

The best course of action is to be strategic about where you place it.

Bait traps like Terro work best when you put them in areas that ants frequent. Take note of where you see these pests most. It might be near a door or window.

In many cases, ants invade homes through tiny cracks and voids around entrances. They gravitate towards rooms that have food or water. So, your bathroom and kitchen are fair game.

Monitor the ant issues, and follow the trails you see back to the colony. Once you know where the ants are coming from, you can place your bait!

If you’re using simple liquid bait, squirt the product into a plastic container. An old bottle cap works well.

If you buy pre-measured traps, you’ll need to remove the seal. That might involve cutting off a plastic cap or peeling off the paper to the entrance holes. Either way, open the product to provide easy access for the ants (while keeping your pets away).

Now, place the bait as close to the nest as possible. It doesn’t have to be super close. Ants have a strong sense of smell, and they’ll find it either way. Here’s where you take your pets into account.

With the ant nest location in mind, put the Terro bait traps in a place your pet can’t access. For many animals, that’s in a corner or under a piece of furniture. Tucking the bait trap behind something your pet can’t get through is a popular choice.

For example, you can slide the trap under a couch or put it between the crevices of large appliances. Make sure that your pet can’t squeeze through!

The biggest thing you want to avoid is putting the trap out in the open. If you leave it in an easily accessible place, it won’t be long until your curious cat or dog gets in. While Terro is safe for pets, it will cause some stomach issues.

Careful placement is a small price to pay for not having to pick up vomit or diarrhea.

What Should I Do If My Pet Eats Terro?

So, your cat or dog got into the Terro. What now?

First of all: Don’t panic. It’s scary to see that your beloved pet has gotten into a pesticide. You might start reading the packaging and go into panic mode!

Resist that urge and approach this issue calmly. 

The best thing you can do is watch your pet. Remember, Terro is safe for pets and isn’t going to cause too many issues outside of diarrhea and vomiting.

But you should keep an eye on your furry friend just in case. Please place them in an area where they can deal with the effects of the Terro safely. Consider placing some pee pads or newspaper around to catch the vomit or diarrhea.

Also, leave plenty of fresh water behind. Dehydration is common regardless of what the product does to your pet’s system. Provide water to let your pet replenish its fluids.

To be on the safe side, contact your vet. You can hold off on this step if you don’t see any major cause for concern. Stomach problems should subside within a day.

But if they persist, contact your vet as soon as possible. Make sure to bring the Terro packaging with you if you must visit your vet. They can double-check to ensure that your cat or dog didn’t consume anything beyond the borax.

What Is Terro Ant Bait?

Ants are a relatively common problem in homes, apartments, condos, and basically anywhere else that humans live. These pests have a knack for invading human spaces and wreaking havoc on an otherwise comfortable domain. Luckily, there are many ways to address the insects, and Terro is a common option.

Terro ant bait is one of the most popular commercial ant products on the market today (even for those who own pets). It’s an easy-to-use product that eliminates much of the guesswork of dealing with these pests.

Many DIY methods are available, and some use active ingredients similar to what Terro uses. But this commercialized product makes things much more manageable.

The most commonly available form of Terro is a liquid bait. It has a syrup consistency and is usually crystal-clear. However, the sweet product attracts most of the common ant species you find in your home.

You can buy Terro bait in a small bottle and apply it manually to areas around your home. Or, you can get it in a plastic trap box that only requires you to create an opening for ants to get in. Both options use the same liquid sugar-based bait.

How Terro works is simple. The product is like a sugary drink or melted candy that ants can’t resist. When a scout ant finds the Terro, they leave a scent trail to direct other workers to come in and haul it back to the nest.

Some will eat the bait then and there. But the bail works slowly. Its effects aren’t apparent until long after the Terro made its way back to the nest.

When the effects do hit, ants feel it hard! The ingredients in Terro interfere with the ant’s digestive system and gradually kill them. Because it takes time, the product quickly spreads throughout a nest to eradicate many ants in a colony.

It’s surprisingly effective and can do wonders to addressing your ant problem.

What Is It Made From?

What’s in this powerful pesticide? The liquid is sugary sweet and has a similar consistency to corn syrup. That’s not by coincidence.

Ants love sweet and sticky foods. Even the species that prefer fatty foods often go for the Terro liquid.

The sweet ingredients are nothing more than something to attract ants. They make the product enticing enough for ants to think it’s real food. The active ingredients do the actual killing.

Terro’s primary active component is borax. While borax certainly has a foreboding name, it’s something you likely use every day. Borax is a granular mineral compound. It also goes by sodium borate or disodium tetraborate.

It’s a natural mineral and is a common form of the compound boron. Please don’t confuse it with boric acid. Boric acid is a highly refined form of borax that’s usually ultra-processed with chemicals.

Borax, on the other hand, is pretty innocent. It’s in laundry detergent, cosmetics, and more. You probably use it regularly without even realizing it.

The compound has low toxicity levels in humans. While it’s not recommended to ingest borax intentionally, it will not cause too many issues if you accidentally do.

But for ants? The stuff is downright lethal!

Over time, the borax crystallizes, creating life-threatening blockages in the digestive system. Think of it as the ultimate plug! Borax eventually kills ants, but its slow and steady process makes it a dangerous substance for these pests. Its effects creep up slowly and are capable of wiping out entire nests.


Terro is safe for pets, but it’s still a good idea to exercise some caution when using it. While your dog or cat will almost certainly be fine if they eat some, they’ll definitely be uncomfortable for a day or two!

If you have any questions about how safe this bait is for your pets, let us know. We’re more than happy to help.

Previous Post
Salt that can be used for killing mice

Can You Kill Mice With Salt? Everything You Need To Know

Next Post
A mouse looking for a way to get under a door

How To Stop Mice From Getting Under The Door (Simple)