If you have a problem with ants in your dog food or dog’s food bowl, you know how upsetting it is. Not only is it unhealthy, but ants can cause you to have to throw out large amounts of expensive dog food, wasting time and money. Here are some ways to get rid of ants in your dog food and keep them out forever.
What NOT To Do When You have Ants in Your Dog Food?
The most important thing not to do when you have ants in your dog food is to use a commercial pest spray anywhere near pet food. There are some pet-safe pesticides (we’ll discuss them below), but it’s always better to keep bug spray well away from your pet’s food.
The next most important thing to do, if possible, before you start killing and removing ants, is to try to follow their trail and see where they are coming from. Identifying the source of the ants can be incredibly helpful for later efforts to kill or deter them since you can place traps and deterrents more effectively.
How to Get Rid of Ants in Dog Food Bowl?
If you have ants in your dog food bowl, here is the best way to solve the immediate problem:
- Empty the dog food into a plastic bag.
- Seal the bag and throw away the dog food in your outdoor trash bin, as far away from the house as possible.
- Wash the dog food bowl with dish soap and warm water, and dry it before refilling it.
- Fill a spray bottle with 1 teaspoon dish soap, then fill it halfway with vinegar or lemon juice and the rest of the way with warm water.
- Spray this solution on the floor anywhere there has been signs of ants, and allow it to sit for 10-20 minutes before wiping or mopping it up
- Dry the floor before replacing the dog food bowl.
- Vacuum the area around your dog’s food bowl at least once a day to clean up any loose food crumbs.
- Clean the area with the vinegar/water solution at least once a day to deter ants.
How to Get Rid of Ants in Dog Food Supply?
If you have ants in your dog food bag or bin, here is the best way to solve the immediate problem:
- Always store pet food in air-tight sealed containers, rather than in open buckets or bags
- If you only have a little bit of dog food, throw it away in a sealed bag outdoors and buy fresh food
If you want to save your dog food and clean the ants out of it, here’s how:
- Get a large, shallow plastic bin and empty the dog food into it
- Wash your dog food storage container with dish soap and warm water, and dry it completely
- Sprinkle the dog food with corn starch and mix everything well. The goal is to coat each kibble with corn starch lightly to dislodge the ants.
- Scoop a small amount of dog food into a fine-mesh strainer, and shake and brush it with a dry paintbrush to remove any ants. Allow any ants and loose corn starch to fall out of the bottom of the strainer, and inspect the kibble thoroughly
- As you clean every scoop of dog food, return it to the cleaned dog food storage container
- Eventually, you will have cleaned all your dog food and replaced it in the storage container
- Store unused dog food in a clean, tightly sealed container, and wash it between refills
How to Keep Ants Away from Dog Food?
Now that you’ve handled the immediate situation, here’s how to keep ants from coming back.
- Keep dog food containers and the floor, shelves, etc., that they are stored on or near very clean. Using vinegar or lemon juice to clean will remove the scent trail that ants follow, making it more difficult for them to return to the containers
- Create a water barrier. Put water in a shallow baking or casserole dish, and then place the dog food bowl inside that dish. If the dog food bowl is surrounded by water, ants will be unable to get to it
- Create a barrier with petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly creates a slick surface that ants cannot cross. Create a ring of petroleum jelly on the base of your dog food bowl or dog food storage container and refresh it every day
- Use “ant proof” dog bowls and dog food storage containers. There are special containers and dog food bowls designed to keep pests out, and they might be the right choice for your family
- Get rid of the ants. You can use a pet-safe pesticide to get rid of the ants. There are pet-safe ant traps, baits, sprays, and powders to kill ants and keep them from coming back for good. Even pet-safe pesticides are most effective when used at the source of the ants, so it’s better to deploy these methods near the ant nest rather than near your dog food
- Call an exterminator. For really persistent ant infestations, you may want to call a professional exterminator, who will work with you to get rid of your ants forever. Make sure you tell your exterminator about your dog or any other pets, so they use pet-friendly extermination methods.
Using these solutions will allow you to get rid of ants in your dog’s food right away and then keep them from coming back. The best way to get rid of ants is to prevent them, to begin with, by cleaning up spilled crumbs and kibble, storing dog food in tightly sealed containers, and regularly cleaning with vinegar or lemon juice solution to deter ants. Ants in dog food is a terrible problem, but you don’t have to live with it.