Fipronil is a slow-acting ant poison that hasn't shown any toxicity in dogs and cats. Long range studies of its effects on human beings suggest that it's probably harmless, and it's used in several products, such as PetArmor and Frontline, that protect cats and dogs from ants. These products are widely available at pet stores and on the Internet.
Be careful before you use fipronil with pets other than cats and dogs, though. It can be fatal to rabbits, as well as to certain kinds of birds and reptiles. Although fipronil could turn out to be the ideal solution for your pet's ant problem, you should do research first on the product's effect on other types of animal -- especially if you have a bunny that likes to snuggle up with your kitten or puppy. Ants are a problem, but you don't want the solution to turn into an even bigger problem.
Author's Note: 5 Tips to Keep Ants Away from Pets
You'd think that, living in Southern California, my cats would have lots of problems with subtropical insects. Think again. It's such a dry area, even near the seashore, that there are much fewer insects here than I used to have to deal with when I lived on the east coast. The worst problem our cats have is fleas and for that we use periodic flea treatments. But ants aren't unknown in these parts and if ants ever invade our house and yard, I'm now armed with a set of tips for dealing with the problem and keeping the cats safe.
If we ever get fire ants, though, I'm buying a flame thrower. Just sayin'.
- Almost Heaven Gold Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary. "Protect Your Pet from Fire Ant Stings." (July 9, 2012) http://www.almostheaven-golden-retriever-rescue.org/fire-ant.html
- Amazon.com. "Ant-Free Bowl." (July 9, 2012) http://www.amazon.com/Bergan-Free-Bowl-Colors-Vary/dp/B0002AS1BI/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1340137244&sr=1-1&keywords=cat+bowl+ants
- Amazon.com. "Frontline Plus." (July 9, 2012) http://www.amazon.com/Merial-Frontline-Control-88-Pound-Applicators/dp/B0002J1FOO/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1340156844&sr=1-1&keywords=frontline+plus
- Amazon.com. "Pet Armor Plus." (July 9, 2012) http://www.amazon.com/Bergan-Free-Bowl-Colors-Vary/dp/B0002AS1BI/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1340137244&sr=1-1&keywords=cat+bowl+ants
- Askville.amazon.com. "What can I use to get rid of ants that is safe around my cats?" (July 9, 2012) http://askville.amazon.com/rid-ants-safe-cats/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=2275396
- Riggs, Nathan L. "Protecting Penned Animals from Fire Ants." Texas A&M University. (July 9, 2012) http://fireant.tamu.edu/materials/factsheets_pubs/pdf/043_penned_animals.pdf
- Sherman, James. "How to Protect Your Pets from Fire Ants." Yahoo Voices. (July 9, 2012) http://voices.yahoo.com/how-protect-pets-fire-ants-2385377.html?cat=53
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