Pests tend to cause much havoc in your home and irritate the people who live in them. With ants being the most persistent, here’s our list of the best outdoor ant killers to keep them at bay. Ants multiply quickly and can be a major irritant if left unchecked. In the long run, they may take over your house and lawn. They can bite you and your loved ones and also damage your garden. Thus, they need to be taken care of before their colonies expand.
Ant killers are usually in the form of gels, baits, and granules. They might take a long time but are guaranteed to wipe out a whole colony of ants. Ant sprays are also effective but for a short time. They can kill ants instantly on contact but do not have long-term results. With various options, choosing the right ant killer may be challenging. So, check out our list of products to make an informed decision.
Our Top Picks
11 Best Outdoor Ant Killers
1. Best Stain-Free: Safer Brand Diatomaceous Earth Ant & Crawling Insect Killer
This powder-based product exterminates ants and other creepy crawlies without affecting humans or the environment. This stain-free product is made of diatomaceous earth, and kills insects by ingestion and by touch. All you need to do is sprinkle the ant killer powder on infested areas, covering all cracks and crevices, and it starts working within minutes and completes the job within 48 hours. It’s not just useful for getting rid of ants but also on bedbugs, fleas, crickets, earwigs, silverfish, roaches, centipedes, and millipedes. It’s made of crushed, fossilized freshwater algae, also known as diatoms, and as this ant killer powder is dry and porous, it quickly absorbs the insect’s moisture and dries it out from the inside when ingested. It’s effective as long as it remains dry, and insects cannot grow immune to it. This that comes in a 4 lb bag contains 100% diatomaceous earth, and is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, and when applied as directed, is safe to use.
2. Best Multipurpose: Terro Ant Killer
If you’re looking for an ant killer that also helps eliminate other pests from your house, say yes to the Terro Ant Killer. This multipurpose solution can kill cockroaches, fleas, and other insects in addition to ants. It comes in the form of fast-acting granules that kill the insects within a day. Further, the bag comes in a shaker format, which means you can easily spread the granules without having to use your hands.
3. Best For Outdoors: Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait
These granules are especially formulated to look like ant food so that ants carry them back to the colony. Once it’s eaten by the queen and other ants, the whole colony of ants in the mound perishes. It can be used on lawns, and the area around your house so that ants don’t enter your home. These granules are effective on 25 species of ants, including fire ants and carpenter ants. One 24 oz bottle of this powerful outdoor ant killer contains 0.88% of hydramethylnon and covers up to 1080 linear feet. This product is an effective outdoor ant killer because it works even when you can’t find the nest, wiping out the entire colony. This bait has a delayed reaction before it begins to take effect so that all the ants in the colony are killed, making it more potent than contact killers. It creates a barrier around your home for up to 3 months, giving you maximum protection from ants entering your home.
4. Best For Hard-To-Reach Places: Combat Max Ant Killing Gel
This outdoor ant killer helps you get rid of ants in just 3 to 5 days. It contains fipronil, which is one of the most powerful outdoor ant killers that attracts ants quickly and starts exterminating them within hours. Its high water content encourages faster feeding, and worker ants, on returning to the colony, share the bait, thus eliminating the entire ant colony, including the queen. This gel comes with a syringe applicator, so it’s convenient to apply it in crevices, cracks, and other hard-to-reach places. It’s effective against a wide range of ants like carpenter ants, pharaoh ants, white footed, and little black ants. This child and pet-safe outdoor ant killer leaves little to no mess. It has no odor and is quite useful as both an indoor and outdoor ant killer.
5. Best For Sugar-Feeding Ants: Hot Shot Maxattrax Ant Bait
This ant killer bait gets rid of not only ants that you see but also those that are invisible. It kills the queen and, as a result, the whole colony gets exterminated. It can be used around the perimeter of your house where its effect lasts for 3 months. It can also be used indoors in closets and cabinets, under sinks and refrigerators, where its effect lasts for up to 6 months. This ant killer pack contains 8 child-resistant bait stations and is safe to use. It kills sugar and grease-feeding ants and provides relief from the most persistent ant infestations. All you need to do is place one bait station along each ant trail, and heavily infested areas may require 2 or more bait stations for effective control. For continued control, replace baits every 3 months outdoors and every 6 months for indoor use or sooner if the bait stations are empty.
6. Best Child-Resistant: Raid Ant Baits
This bait is very effective in killing ants wherever they hide and works its magic for up to 3 months. After ants feed on the bait, they carry it to the queen and other ants upon returning to the colony, thereby killing the entire colony. For the bait to be the most beneficial, place all the baits at the same time. The bait contains avermectin and can be placed around the perimeter of the house and indoors in corners, along walls and near entry points. This child-resistant ant killer attacks, controls, and prevents ants and other bugs from entering your home.
7. Best Fast-Acting: Bioadvanced Fire Ant Killer
The fast-acting formula of this ant killer, which contains 0.5% β-cyfluthrin, starts working immediately. All you need to do is use the shaker-top applicator to shake the powder over the mound and sprinkle some water on it, and the fire ants will spread the product throughout the mound. The entire colony, along with the queen, is destroyed within 3 days. This fire ant killer is very convenient to use and only has a mild odor. It comes in a 16 ounce container and can treat up to 130 mounds.
8. Best Plant-Based: EcoRaider Ant & Crawling Insects Killer
EcoRaider is a plant-based spray with a pleasant citrus smell, and is an insect neuron blocker. Though it is lethal for ants and insects, it does not affect humans and animals as all its ingredients are considered safe. This ant killer is very efficient against odorous house ants which are commonly found around sugary food, and kills 100% of them within a minute. It also works against fire ants and kills 100% of them in just 6 minutes. This product also disrupts the pheromone trail left by ants for other ants to follow, and prevents them from regrouping and entering the treated area for up to 4 weeks. EcoRaider ant killer can be used both indoor and outdoors for ants as well as other insects, like mites and woodlice. It’s toxin-free and dermatologically safe and is rated #1 by the Entomological Society of America.
9. Best Safe-To-Use: Harris Ant Killer Spray
This eco-friendly ant killer spray contains natural plant oils like clove and cottonseed as active ingredients and is safe to use around children and pets. This ant killer exterminates ants in 30 minutes or less. It’s non-staining if used properly, as per the directions and can be used both outdoors and indoors. The essential oils in it produce a light, pleasant scent and there is no added artificial fragrance. This spray is available in a 20 oz bottle and works effectively on red fire ants, pharaoh ants, argentine ants, and other household ants.
10. Best Fast-Dissolving: Spectracide Ant Shield Insect Killer Granules
This easy-to-use, fast-acting ant killer helps you to control ant infestation in your lawn in no time at all. These granules kill all ants, except pharaoh and harvester ants on contact and are used as a barrier treatment. This versatile ant killer can kill more than 65 types of insects including roaches, silverfish, water bugs, sowbugs, and crickets. It comes in a 3-pound shaker bag which makes it convenient and easy to apply. Just sprinkle the granules over and around each anthill, and around the perimeter of your house in a 3 to 5-foot band. Water it immediately so that the granules dissolve completely for more potency. Aim for an even coverage when shaking out the granules and reapply after it rains. It should be applied up to 6 times per year for best results.
11. Best Acephate-Based: Martin’s Surrender Fire Ant Killer Insecticide
This ant killer can be applied directly to fire ant mounds and will exterminate the whole colony, including the queen ant. Just mix the insecticide with water and drench the fire ant mound. This 1 lb tin of insecticide can treat up to 108 mounds, and should be used once per season. It also comes handy in controlling the spread of harvester ants. The active ingredient in this versatile ant killer is 75% acephate, which is a water-soluble insecticide that plants ingest through the roots and kill feeding insects.
Now that you have been through our review of the 11 best outdoor ant killers, here are a few tips on the parameters you need to consider when buying one for yourself to get rid of an ant infestation in your home and garden. There are so many products available in the market but your decision should be determined by the type of ant infestation and your circumstances.
What To Consider When Choosing An Outdoor Ant Killer
- Type of ants:
Different ants are attracted to different things— like sugar, protein, or grease. Fire ants, carpenter ants, and thief ants are attracted to a protein-rich meal, while sugar ants are more drawn to sugary food. The packaging of the ant killer should indicate the type of ant the product is designed to kill. There are also some broad-spectrum ant killers available that work for many types of ants.
- Indoor vs. outdoor:
Some ant killers can be used both indoors and outdoors. Do check the label, as some stronger ant killers may be too strong for indoor use while some household products may not serve the purpose outside.
If you have young children or pets at home, it’s best to go for ant traps because they’re more contained with the poison inside a plastic container, and are safer than sprays, gels, and granules.
An outdoor ant killer needs to be weatherproof, otherwise it may get washed away when it rains. In the same way, you may want to avoid powders as those may get blown away by strong winds.
Avoid purchasing granules as an ant killer if the ants are coming through the crevices in the walls. Also remember that it’s best to use ant baits for bigger ant infestations as they have long term results. Ant sprays are suitable for short term options, like if you see a few random ants in your kitchen, a good ant spray is the ideal solution. It’s only if you start seeing ants on a regular basis even after spraying, that you should go for an ant bait.
Ant killers are handy products that effectively rid your home and garden of these pests that may affect your food or, worse, lead to ant bites. Made from a blend of ingredients, they kill ants in a few days, ensuring colonies are eradicated easily. However, before you bring home an outdoor ant killer product, evaluate what type of ant you are trying to get rid of, along with checking if they are weather-proof or not so they are not easily washed away. Moreover, if you have pets or children around, it is wise to choose ant traps rather than ant killers as the granules or gels might be easily accessible to them. With these points in mind, you can choose a product best suited to your needs and keep your home and family safe.
Why Trust MomJunction?
We have compiled this list of the best outdoor ant killers that can eliminate the risk of insects damaging your lawn or patio. Our articles are driven by extensive research into the features, benefits, and drawbacks of different products across a multitude of categories, so we can help you have a seamless shopping experience. The article also has a buying guide section highlighting the different factors like safety and requirement you should consider before choosing an ant killer.