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8 Chemicals Used by Exterminators for Ant Control and Their Health Risks

Controlling Ants: Understanding the Chemicals Used by Exterminators and Health Risks Involved

Ants are known for their organized and collective behavior, which can easily affect our homes, gardens, and even our health. Ant pests can easily damage homes, structure, gardens, and although most ant species are not harmful, they can consume food, infest areas, and damage gardens.

This is why it is important to have an effective ant control plan. Exterminators often use a variety of chemicals to manage and control ant colonies effectively.

However, not all chemicals used by exterminators are safe for humans and environment. In this article, we will highlight the chemicals used by exterminators for ant control and the associated health risks.

Chemicals Used by Exterminators for Ant Control

Pyrethroids and Pyrethrins

Pyrethroids and pyrethrins are commonly used insecticides that paralyze insects. These chemicals are safe for humans, animals, and do not have adverse effects on the environment.

However, they can be toxic to aquatic organisms, and it is important to use these chemicals with caution near water bodies. Permethrin is an example of Pyrethroid that is commonly used by exterminators to control ants in homes, gardens, and commercial areas.

Piperonyl Butoxide


Piperonyl Butoxide is not a pesticide, it is used as an enhancer to make other pesticides more effective. This chemical is known to cause allergic reactions and is also a carcinogen.


Hydramethylnon is a slow-acting ant pesticide that targets lethargic ants. This long-term solution is known to irritate the respiratory tract and eyes on human exposure.

It is also considered a potential carcinogen and should be used with caution.

Methoprene and Pyriproxyfen

Methoprene and pyriproxyfen are insect growth regulators that primarily inhibit insect development, making them effective against fire ants. These insecticides are not toxic to humans, but they can harm aquatic animals and insects.


Neonicotinoids are a new class of pesticides used by exterminators to manage ants indoors, including carpenter ants, fire ants, and Argentine ants.

Neonicotinoids are considered a moderate threat to human health as they have a negative effect on the nervous system.

These chemicals are also toxic to bees and should only be used with extreme care.


Avermectin is an effective pesticide against fire ants, Argentine ants, and carpenter ants in very low concentrations. These chemicals are toxic to the nervous system, which causes difficulties in movement.

This pesticide is also known to cause fetus development tampering.


Fipronil is effective against all types of ants and has a strong effect on those ants that consume it. It is also a possible carcinogen and is toxic when ingested or absorbed through the skin.

The potential for toxicity means that fipronil should be used with extreme caution.

Fenoxycarbs and Indoxacarb

Fenoxycarbs and Indoxacarb are specifically used to kill fire ant colonies without affecting humans and animals. These pesticides have low toxicity, but they are still classified as possible carcinogens, and they can cause liver toxicity.


Metaflumizone is another effective pesticide used to control fire ants in granular form. It has low acute toxicity to human beings, making it an ideal choice for ant control in structural and outdoor environments.

Reputable Exterminators and Health Risks

It is essential to choose a reputable exterminator for ant control to ensure that the chemicals used are safe for you, your family, and the environment. Reputable exterminators follow higher standards and should be able to explain the chemicals they use and the potential health risks.

You should also avoid exterminators who use forbidden chemicals, including chlorpyrifos and diazinon.

Health Risks of Chemicals

When dealing with ant control, it is important to note the potential health risks of the chemicals used in the process. Exposure to some chemicals used by exterminators can lead to allergic reactions, respiratory and eye irritation, negative effects on the nervous system, possible fetus development tampering, and liver toxicity.

It is important to note that long-term exposure and excessive dose exposure to these chemicals can lead to serious health problems.


Exterminators use various chemicals to control and manage ant colonies. The choice of chemicals used is dependent on the ant species, the environment, and the extent of infestation.

Some chemicals are harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. It is important to seek out reputable exterminators who use safe chemicals and avoid the use of forbidden chemicals.

Always take precautionary measures when dealing with ant control chemicals by using gloves, long-sleeved clothing, and using a mask. Ant control is essential for maintaining a healthy and safe environment.

Warning Against DIY Chemical Use: Extermination is Best Left to Trained Professionals

Ant infestations in homes and gardens can be a nuisance. Often, homeowners take the task of controlling the ant infestation into their own hands.

They may decide to use DIY pest control products that they can purchase from retail stores, thinking they can solve the problem much cheaper than hiring an exterminator. However, DIY pest control products pose a great risk to human health, and if not used correctly, can lead to serious harm.

This article serves as a warning against DIY chemical use and emphasizes the importance of preserving health by seeking professional extermination services.

Dangers of DIY Chemical Use

One of the most significant dangers of DIY chemical use is the potential for dangerous handling. Over-the-counter pesticides are often mishandled, leading to poisoning, inhalation of toxic fumes, and skin irritation.

Inhaling pesticides can cause headaches, dizziness, respiratory problems, and even death in extreme cases. If pesticides are not used as directed, they can harm humans, pets, and the environment.

DIY chemicals can also lead to long-term health problems. Many pest control products contain carcinogens and neurotoxins, which can cause cancer and damage the nervous system.

In addition, exposing oneself to high levels of pesticides can lead to serious illnesses like leukemia, lymphoma, and other forms of cancer. It is also important to note that DIY pesticides may be ineffective.

Some DIY pesticides can kill only the visible ants and not the entire colony, leading to a re-infestation. Because DIY pesticides are not formulated for long-lasting effects, ant colonies may recover and become even more resistant to future treatments.

Importance of Preserving Health

Preserving health should be the primary concern when it comes to ant control. Pesticides should be used as a last resort when other non-chemical methods have failed.

Professional exterminators are trained to assess the severity of the ant infestation and provide appropriate pest control measures tailored to your specific needs. They can offer safe, effective, and long-lasting solutions for ant control without harming you or the environment.

The use of professional exterminators is particularly important for individuals with pre-existing health conditions like asthma, allergies, and immune-related illnesses. These conditions can be exacerbated by exposure to chemicals commonly found in over-the-counter pesticides.

Additionally, children and pets are more vulnerable to the dangers of pesticides, and exposure could lead to long-term health problems.

Honesty and Transparency from Exterminators

When choosing professional exterminators, honesty and transparency are essential. It is critical to ask questions about the types of chemicals they use, their exposure, safety precautions, and any potential health risks.

This will enable you to make informed decisions about your health and well-being. Reputable exterminators should provide clear information on the pest control methods they use, the chemicals they are employing, and how they will be used.

Exterminators should also be cautious when using pesticides near water bodies and should exercise restraint in using pesticides that harm aquatic organisms, including fish and waterfowl. It is important to consider the long-term impact of pesticides on the environment, and exterminators should use safer integrated pest management techniques that minimize the use of chemicals.


In conclusion, DIY pest control products are not worth the risk to your health, and seeking professional help from trained exterminators is the best option for ant elimination. It is important to preserve health, especially when dealing with chemicals that can cause long-lasting harm.

Professional exterminators are trained to handle all types of pests and can provide tailored solutions for your specific pest control needs while also taking into account environmental impacts. Before choosing an exterminator, it is crucial to inquire about the chemicals they use, any potential risks, and how they plan to mitigate them.

In conclusion, ant control is an essential part of maintaining a clean, healthy living space. However, it is important to understand the various chemicals used in the process and the associated health risks.

Exterminators use different chemicals depending on the ant species, the environment, and the extent of the infestation. It is advisable to choose a reputable exterminator who follows safety standards and can provide clear information on the use of chemicals.

While DIY pest control products may seem cost-effective, they pose serious threats to human health and may be ineffective. Remember, preserving health is of utmost importance, and seeking professional help from experienced exterminators is always the best way to go.

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