Got ants? We’ve got the solution with the best outdoor ant killers on the market. There’s a wide range to choose from, and there’s one for every kind of ant problem and budget.
There’s also an easy-to-reference buying guide that tells you what you need to keep in mind when deciding. Ready to find out more? Let’s go.
The best outdoor ant killer is Bonide Insect & Grub Control Granules.
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What to Consider Before Buying an Outdoor Ant Killer
Some infestations are more serious than others, but with the best outdoor ant killer, you’ll have it under control in no time at all. Before you buy the cheapest/most expensive/most toxic/eco-friendliest product, it’s worth keeping a few things in mind.
What Type of Product Are You Looking For?
Outdoor ant killers are available as sprays, bait stations, gels, and granules or powder. They all have their advantages, as well as disadvantages, and some might work better than others, depending on your needs. What it boils down to is how quickly you want to get rid of the infestation, what ants you want to kill, and how much you want to spend.
Let’s take a look at each one in a little more detail.
Sprays work particularly well if you want to get rid of a trail of ants or a couple of scouts. They’re an excellent choice to kill the ants you can see, but not be a long-term solution if you have nests in your yard, or underground.
Some products kill on contact, while others have a residual effect, killing ants that come into contact with it, as well as those in the nest. Sprays are one of the more affordable options.
Granular Ant Killer
Granules or powder are a popular choice because they’re easy to use, allowing you to cover a large area, and they offer a more permanent solution. Granules work in two ways, killing the ants that come into contact with it, as well as the rest of the colony. This is an excellent option if you’re dealing with large infestations and want to eliminate a colony with its queen.
The downside to powder or granules is that there’s no controlling where it goes once you’ve applied it. If you have children or animals in the home and your yard, it’s a good idea to read the label and follow the instructions carefully.
Bait stations come highly recommended if you’re not sure where the invading ants’ nest is, or if they’re hard to reach places outdoors. They work the same way as granules, except these are already pre-packaged with poison. There’s no fiddling and filling of bait stations, and because they’re sealed in tamper-proof containers, you don’t have to worry about your children or pets getting to the poison.
Although they’re definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, we like a lot of others, really like the gel outdoor ant killers. The poison is packaged in a tube with a syringe-like applicator, allowing you to get into those tiny cracks and crevices that other ant killers can’t reach. Like granules and bait stations, gels are made using ingredients ants are attracted to, which then gets carried back to the rest of the colony.
What Type of Ants Do You Want to Kill?
Even though there are 12,000 different species of ants, they can be categorized into two groups by what they eat. Sugar eaters like sweet things and grease eaters prefer more savory type foods that are fat or oil-based. Why are we telling you this? Well, if you buy a gel or granules with an oil-based attractant to kill carpenter ants, it’s not going to work.
The same applies if you want to kill imported fire ants with a sugary substance. They’re not going to be interested because they’re classified as grease eaters. If you’re not sure what type of ant it is, you could choose a pesticide that kills different species.
Is it Safe to Use Around Children and Pets?
When choosing an outdoor ant killer, one of the most important things to consider is your family. Some formulas are highly toxic and shouldn’t be used around children or pets.
They can also kill birds, bees, fish, and other animals in the wild. If this is a concern for you, then we suggest you look at one of the environmentally friendly options that are available. These are as effective but contain natural ingredients that don’t pose any risks to small children or animals.
If you prefer the idea of a pesticide but are worried about safety, then you should consider a bait station. As mentioned, these are prepackaged, and the poison is kept in a tamper-proof container that’s also weather resistant.
Where Will You Be Using It?
Even where you’re planning to use the ant killer is something you need to consider. Bait stations are suitable for all weather conditions because of the plastic container that houses the poison Granules and gels, on the other hand, will get washed away in rainy conditions or lose efficacy.
A spray isn’t a viable option if you have a significant infestation in an open field, and throwing granules at a few ants in the kids’ ball pit won’t have the desired effect.
8 Best Outdoor Ant Killer Reviews
When it comes to outdoor ant killers, you’re spoiled for choice, but how do you know which product is the right one for you? We’ve tried a few out, and also looked reviews and forums to bring you the best outdoor killers for 2019.
1. Ortho Home Defense granules
This is one of the best outdoor ant killers currently available on the market. The main ingredient is bifenthrin, an insecticide that attacks the insects’ nervous system. The effects are long-lasting, and just one application carries on killing ants, and other insects for up to three months.
What we especially like is that it’s safe to use on your lawn and doesn’t damage flowers or plants. Best of all, it’s safe for children children once the granules have been watered into the ground and left to dry.
The downside to the product, but by no means a dealbreaker, is that it’s not as effective on fire ants. But for the majority of ant species, and a wide range of other creepy crawlies, this is one of the best products.
- The granules are easy to apply
- It’s good value for money, and a little bit goes a long way
- The poison carries on working for up to three months after application
- Children and pets can run and play on the lawn once the product has been watered in
- It kills ants as well as other insects
- It doesn’t kill fire ants
- it shouldn’t be used in your veggie gardens
2. Terro Outdoor Liquid Bait Stakes
Terro Outdoor Liquid Bait stakes are the perfect solution if you’re dealing with ants in a smaller area. Each pack comes with eight stakes, containing approximately 0.025 ounces of liquid bait. It works on most ant species, and because of the delayed response, the poison kills the whole colony, including the queen.
They’re easy to place in the ground, thanks to the stakes, and they won’t get blown over or carried away by roaming animals. And because the containers are waterproof, they can be used throughout the year, regardless of the season.
Something we really like is the see-through window that allows you to check the bait level so you know when it needs to be replaced. And for people concerned about the safety of these traps around children or pets, the main ingredient is borax, which means it’s not as toxic as some of the other ant killers out there.
- Each pack contains eight baited stakes, making it an affordable option
- They’re easy to use, and the stakes take the hassle out of placing them in the ground
- The see-through window allows you to monitor the bait level
- The bait traps are weatherproof
- The main ingredient is borax, which means they’re safe to use around children and pets
- The stakes aren’t removable, so the stations can’t be used in hard surfaces
3. Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer
One of the best things about Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer is that it kills ants, as well as other insects, on the surface and in the soil. It penetrates the ground’s surface, working into the soil and provides protection up to three months protection against ants, cockroaches, ticks, wasps, spiders as well as larvae.
Unlike a lot of other pesticides that take a few days to work, this starts killing within 24 hours, and even better, within one hour of being absorbed into the soil, it’s rainproof. For the best results, you must read the instructions and follow them carefully.
We recommend using a different product if you have small children or pets in the home, as this is highly toxic.
- The ant killer treats up to 5,000 sq. ft.
- It carries on working for up to three months
- within one hour of being applied, it’s rainproof
- It’s one of the few pesticides that kill surface insects as well as those in the soil
- The poison starts working quickly, killing insects within 24 hours
- It is not suitable for use around children and pets
4. BioAdvanced Fire Ant Killer Dust
If you’ve got fire ants, then you need BioAdvanced Fire Ant Killer Dust. This is one of the most effective outdoor ant Killers currently available, and it’s easy to see why. The dust is easy to apply directly to the mounds and starts working within one hour.
The main ingredient is cyfluthrin, which kills fire ants and other insects quickly. But take note, it’s extremely toxic and definitely not recommended for indoor use, or around pets and children. In fact, it’s banned in some states, so be sure to check this before you buy it.
- It’s hard to find an outdoor ant killer that works as quickly as this
- It’s effective against fire ants and a range of other insects
- The dust is easy to apply
- It covers a large area and can be applied directly to the mounds
- It contains Cyfluthrin, which is extremely toxic and not safe for use around children or pets
- It can have an impact on wildlife and plants
5. Optigard Ant Gel Bait
Optigard Ant Gel Bait has a syringe-like applicator and is perfect to use in cracks and tiny holes. It works in the same was as other baits, attracting ants to the bait, where it’s then carried back to the nest by workers for the other ants to eat. Within a relatively short period, the entire colony, including the queen, is dead.
We like that it can be used outdoors as well as inside, and compared to some of the gels on the market, this is an affordable option. The bait targets and kills a wide variety of ants, including carpenter ants, Argentine ants, and ghost ants. But if it’s pharaoh or fire ants you’re trying to get rid, we suggest using a different product.
- The gel bait effectively kills a wide range of ants including carpenter ants, Argentine ants, and pharaoh ants
- It’s an affordable option that’s easy to use
- The syringe applicator makes it easy to apply the poison
- It doesn’t kill some of the more common household ants
6. Bonide Insect & Grub Control Granules
If you’re looking for one of the best outdoor ant Killers, we suggest you give Bonide Insect & Grub Control Granules a try. The active ingredients, Lambda-Cyhalothrin and Imidacloprid, work in two ways, killing the unwanted pests within 24 hours while also providing long-term protection for up to three months at a time.
Bonide control granules kill some of the most common garden pests, above and below the ground’s surface, including ants, weevils, ticks, fleas, chinch bugs, mosquitoes, and a whole lot more.
We think it’s good value for money with a 6lbs bag treating up to 7,500 square feet. But on the downside, you will need a spreader so that the granules are distributed evenly. The pesticide is safe to use around children and pets, although we do recommend you follow the instructions carefully.
- The active ingredients Lambda-Cyhalothrin and Imidacloprid kills insects on contact and provides ongoing protection for up to three months
- It starts working as soon as it’s applied
- The product can be used around children and pets
- You will need a lawn spreader to spread the granules evenly
7. Terro Carpenter Ant and Termite Killer
Sometimes waiting even 24 hours for an ant killer to take effect can seem too long, which is why we recommend Terro Carpenter Ant and Termite Killer for instant results. It comes with an easy to use nozzle spray that allows you to get into those hard to reach corners and crevices and doesn’t leave a huge mess.
The aerosol can is a convenient size and effectively gets rid of destructive pests, including hard-to-kill carpenter ants, termites, carpenter bees, and wood wasps. The spray not only kills unwanted pests on contact, but it also protects your home for up to a month.
We like that it’s odor-free and doesn’t stain surfaces, so it can be used indoors, if necessary.
- The fast working spray kills insects on ants
- It gets rid of carpenter ants, termites, carpenter bees and wood wasps
- The spray nozzle is easy to use and allows you to get to those hard to reach spots ants love to hide
- The formula is odor-free
- Because this is a contact spray, it’s not the best option to treat nests
8. BASF Advance’s Granular Carpenter Ant Bait
BASF Advance’s Granular Carpenter Ant Bait is the ideal solution if you’re not sure what type of ants you’re dealing with. It kills various species including acrobat ants, Argentine ants, odorous house ants, fire ants, harvester ants, pavement ants, carpenter ants, and crazy ants. One of the reasons it’s such a popular choice is because it kills on contact, but also gets carried back to the nest.
The product has a long shelf-life, which is good news because a little goes a long way. Just keep in mind that it’s incredibly toxic and should be kept out of reach of children and pets. Also, read the instructions carefully when applying.
- The ant bait is easy to apply
- The larger sized granules attract carpenter ants
- It kills a wide range of ant species
- The poison works on contact but is also carried back to the nest, killing the entire colony
- It has a long shelf life and can be stored
- It’s extremely poisonous and shouldn’t be used around animals or children
Which Is Best?
It’s a tough one to call because each of the products reviewed here work well, but if we have to choose one, it’s got to be Bonide Insect & Grub Control Granules.
It gets our vote for being one of the most effective outdoor ant killers, dealing with ants and insects you can see, as well as those hiding in your soil. It’s fast-acting, giving you results within 24 hours, and it also protects your yard for up to three months, with just one application.
It’s also affordable, which let’s face it, is music to most people’s ears.