Best Ant Killer For Lawns [Our Top 5]

The best outdoor ant killer for your lawn depends on several factors.

The first consideration when looking for an ant killer is identifying the ant species. The second is finding an effective ant killer for controlling the ant species infesting your lawn.

Another consideration is the level of infestation. A large ant infestation may necessitate using a more aggressive ant killer.

Your ant control goals will also affect the choice of ant killer. The best ant killers for repelling or driving away ants are not very potent in killing ants.

Ant foraging and nesting behavior differ from species to species. These two aspects also influence extermination methods and, by extension, the best ant killer to apply. Is your objective to eliminate entire colonies?

Feeding baits to outdoor ants would be the best tactic. If your goal is instant death to the ants, spraying the lawn with pesticides is suitable.

Remember these, as they will help you decide the right lawn treatment and ant killer that works best for you.

Having said that, it’s important to note that ant control products are made from either natural or synthetic substances. Ordinarily, chemical ant and insect killers are most effective in repelling and killing action.

But, they’ve toxic side effects not only to you but also to kids and pets, other animals, and the environment.

This article discusses the abovementioned aspects and suggests some lawn ant-killing products you can consider when phased with an outdoor ant problem.

girl pointing down


Our 5 favorite Ant Killers For Lawns

If you just want our recommendations, here’s a quick list.

Underneath this portion, we dive more into the “science” of these products.


Terro Outdoor Liquid Ant Bait

Terro Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits are very effective insecticides for use outdoors. Many rely on these ant baits to get rid of ants when they need anything. Each of Terro’s six stations comes ready to use in a 1-ounce package. 

When used as directed, Terro Outdoor Ant Baits will lure and kill any ants lurking around your lawn. The solution is effective at eliminating multiple types of common house ants before they even enter your home. 

Terro ant baits can also be used to control large ant infestations. 

Like other liquid ant baits on the market, Terro works by gradually killing the ants. This is accomplished by disrupting the ants’ digestive process, ultimately leading to their deaths. 

The product is highly effective since worker ants have time to bring the bait back to the colony and feed it to the queen before it kills them. The ants will be drawn to the stakes and take them back to their colonies. 

All you have to do is put down the baits in areas with lots of ant activity. 

Pros 

  • It completely wipes out a colony of ants. 
  • It comes pre-filled, making it easy to use outdoors. 
  • These ant traps are simple to set up; just drive the stakes into the ground in the spots where you’ve seen the most ants.  

Cons 

  • Often leads to discolored concrete. 
  • It can be harmful to infants and pets.  


Safer 51703 Diatomaceous Earth-Bed Bug Ant Killer

 


Safer 51703 is a 100% ground diatomaceous earth bait that comes in a sealed bag with a powder duster for easy application. The fossilized remains ensure that the ant bait will not spoil like other ant bait items.

The ant’s exoskeleton is punctured when ants come into contact with ant killers.

This dries out the lipids and removes the barrier that keeps them from drying out, which causes them to lose water and die.

Although the dry powder may get airborne during application and cause moderate lung and throat discomfort, earth ant killers are safe for use around pets and children.

In addition, the bait is all-natural and free of chemical components, so insects won’t develop resistance; the bait’s mechanical action will kill the ants in 24 to 48 hours, effectively eliminating the problem and leaving your lawn free of ants.

Pros: 

  • It’s easily affordable. 
  • It’s an all-natural alternative to artificial bait. 
  • Because the bait is so simple, it can even be applied to inaccessible regions. 
  • It is safe for use around children and pets. 
  • It can be used to eliminate other pests, not just ants. 

Cons: 

  • Ants aren’t eliminated immediately after consuming the bait.


The Ortho Fire Ant Killer

When it comes to eliminating ants, the Ortho fire ant killer is one of the most effective options. 

It’s much stronger than home remedies or mild ant repellents, which is exactly what you need to eliminate fire ants. 

This pesticide is available in powder form and must be applied directly to the ant’s mound; no mixing or humidification is required.

However, caution should be exercised around the pitcher’s mound. If you create a disturbance, the ants will come out of hiding and take the queen with them. The powder should be applied carefully. With just one application, you should no longer worry about fire ants in your yard; one container treats up to 54 mounds. 

Pros 

  • It is potent enough to get rid of the queen. 
  • It offers long-lasting protection against fire ants. 
  • It’s effective against a wide range of pests and insects. 

 Cons 

  • It has an unpleasant smell.  
  • It’s unsafe to use in residential areas. 
  • It’s not safe for use around children or pets. 


Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait Granules

Nothing beats the long-lasting efficiency of Amdro Ant Block granules when it comes to killing ants in your yard. 

In most cases, the worker ants will transport the bait and bring it back to the colony, killing off the queen and other larvae that consume the poison. 

The ant killer is applied around your home’s perimeter and smells and tastes like food, so any ants that come into contact with it will leave a trail that other ants can follow to discover the bait and bring it back to the colony. 

The primary ingredient in Amdro Ant Block is hydramethylnon, a metabolic inhibitor, which means the insecticides will assault the metabolic system, rendering the ants incapable of maintaining their own survival, primarily through dehydration and starvation. 

To use, simply shake the grains onto broadband outside your home; do this multiple times, then wait 7–14 days for the entire colony to be eradicated. 

Pros: 

  • Easy to apply. 
  • The enticing aroma of the ant killer will keep the ants out of your house. 
  • The bait gets rid of ants effectively.  

Cons: 

  • Unfortunately, the granules can easily be washed away by rain. 
  • Unlike a spray, it won’t provide uniform coverage. 


Maxforce Complete Granular Insect Bait

Maximum protection against carpenter ants, fire ants, fleas, spiders, ticks, and other insects, including ants, for an entire season, is provided with Maxforce Complete Granular Insect Bait. 

Therefore, Maxforce Complete is a great product to consider if you want to eliminate all types of insects in your home. 

This ant bait contains 1% hydramethylnon and can be used outdoors and indoors. 

Maxforce Complete contains a lethal mixture of simple sugars, carbs, lipids, and proteins that can be used as ant bait. 

This ant bait can treat various surfaces, including woodpiles, patios, driveways, porches, flowerbeds, etc. 

Pros 

  • Rapid-acting ant killer. 
  • It can form a barrier, keeping the ants off your lawn.  

Cons 

  • It isn’t effective against all ant species. 


Should I terminate lawn ants?

Outdoor ants are beneficial to the ecology. Ants are a significant part of the food chain and play a major role in maintaining healthy, fertile soils.

Some ants are also biological pest killers. Most species, including black ants, Argentine, and fire ants, kill termites, ticks, and spiders for protein.

However, ants are a nuisance when they invade indoors and outdoors. Stinging ants ruin outdoor activities and picnics. Mound ants inhibit full grass growth in sports fields, lawns, and golf courses.

Ants infestation can cause root damage to garden plants.

Ants occasionally raise aphids because they feed on the sugary sap aphids excrete. Unfortunately, aphids negatively affect lawn plants’ health.

Ants that burrow around the perimeter of your home and pavements cause structural weakness in the building’s foundation.

Some ant types are invasive and dangerous because they bite or administer painful, poisonous stings if their nests or foraging paths are invaded.

These are some of the threats ants are causing to your lawn.

However, due to ant’s environmental benefits, consider driving them away from the yard before turning to extermination. Remember, because of many field factors, repelling or killing outdoor ants is not as easy as killing them indoors.

References:

https://ag.umass.edu/turf/fact-sheets/ants-in-lawns


Which are the common problematic lawn ants?

Many outdoor ant species co-exist with humans (e.g., black ants) and are easy to control. But, the following two species are a menace and hard to manage;


Fire ant species

A fire ant infestation makes the lawn unusable. This type of ant bites and stings people and pets ferociously. Further, fire ants mounds are huge and protrude several feet above the surface, making the ground uneven and the lawn site unpleasant.

fire ant


Carpenter ants

These ants create nests in wood. The nests can be located in dead wood on the lawn. However, they easily create satellite nests in wooden sections of the house, damaging your wooden structures. Controlling them in the lawn prevents a possible infestation indoors.

Carpenter Ant


What should you consider when buying a lawn ant killer?

The ant killer you choose should be guided by factors such as;


Species of Ant

Ant behaviors differ, including food preferences, foraging activities, nest location and size, and colony sizes.

Foraging and food patterns influence baiting techniques.

Nest location and size also influence the pesticide application methods.

Some ant nests, like those of fire ants, are elaborate enough for the application of control or killer solutions directly to ant mounds.

Fire ants’ mounds are conically or dome-shaped and rise at least a foot or several feet above the ground.

They have no noticeable external openings. They usually start emerging after heavy rains.


Level of infestation

How big a lawn infestation depends on the ant species. Fire ant queens’ are prolific reproducers laying nearly 800 eggs a day.

A mature fire ant colony can have between 100,000-500,000 ants or even more.

Measures to control such ant activity must be robust.

Killing this many ants is hard too. Here you may only succeed by using extermination techniques and measures to drive away the ants.

In extreme infestation cases, consider engaging the services of pest controllers.


Your goals

If you do not have a heavy ant infestation in your garden, it may be best to repel than kill these critters. A combination of instant and slow action control methods may be the only way to a lasting result for huge ant populations.


Types of pest control products

You can immediately get rid of ants in the yard by spraying pesticides directly on them or killing them slowly by baiting them. Alternatively, simply drive them away using available organic or chemical ant-control substances.


References:

https://fireant.tamu.edu/learn/biology/


Which types of lawn ant killers are there?

As briefly mentioned, effective ant killers for your lawn and those you can use around your home broadly fall into two categories, natural and synthetic.


Natural Ant killers

Organic substances are active ingredients in these outdoor ant killers. The mode of killing the ant and its effectiveness differs from solution to solution. In this category, the top picks for yard ants are;


Diatomaceous earth ant killer

Diatomaceous earth (DE) ant dust is an ant treatment powder that kills ants and other pests by causing dehydration. 

To kill ants, apply a thin layer of DE food grade type – not pool type – in ant-infested lawn areas. 

Ants that come into contact with DE or eat anything contaminated with it die. 

Be cautious with the application because DE may kill beneficial insects as well. 

Avoid direct skin contact during application. It leads to skin dryness. Keep pets and kids away from treated areas.


Homemade orange or peppermint essential oil liquid sprays

You can control your outdoor ant infestation by preparing and spraying the lawn with home remedies from certain essential oils. 

A peppermint essential oil spray is an effective ant-repellant. 

Ants hate the peppermint oil smell and will keep off treated areas. 

Raw citrus orange squeeze diluted with water but in high concentrations kills and repels ants. 

To kill or drive ants away, drench ant hills with this solution repeating the procedure until activity stops.


Natural molasses mixed with composite tea and industrial-grade orange oil

Apply a mixture of these three ingredients in equal proportions diluted in a gallon of water to ant mounds. This solution not only kills ants but drives away others from treated lawns. 

This method is effective against exported fire ants. 

Ant killers made from essential oils and other potent organic substances are pet and child safe. 

When using these natural treatments, effective control requires monitoring ant activity. 

It is necessary and crucial to repeat treatment until ant activity ceases. But note that industrial-grade orange oil is toxic to marine life.


Hot water

As crazy as it sounds, you can boil water, pour it on visible ants, or drench the mound with it. 

Use this method in emergencies and do it sparingly. 

Boiling water scorches grass and plant roots leading to their death. It also kills essential microorganisms in the soil.


Chemical home or yard ant killers

Their effectiveness aside, pesticides have many side effects depending on their active chemical substance. 

Common chemical bases in outdoor ant killers are borax, pyrethroids, and organo-compounds. 

Reading and following product instructions on the many ant killer product labels is essential. 

The toxicity of outdoor pesticides can harm you, domestic and wild animals, children, and pets. 

Risks extend to contamination of water, eventually poisoning marine life. 

Any creature that feeds on the dead ants also gets poisoned.


Liquid sprays

Liquid sprays are available as contact killers. They exterminate ants and a host of other pests on contact or a few moments after application. 

Some of the products are premixed and ready to spray. 

To apply, connect the container directly to a garden hose. 

Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer is a pyrethroid (Bifenthrin) formulated for lawns. 

It has an indicated three months activity period. 

An alternative is Terro outdoor ant killer, a Permethrin-based aerosol. 

Apply ant sprays with extra caution. 

Keep animals, pets, and kids away from the lawns during chemically active periods.

spraying ants


Liquid baits

All baits are slow acting. They’re also presented to ants disguised as food. Baits are sweet. 

The sweetness is intended to attract ants. 

Liquid ant baits are effective if the goal is eliminating entire ant colonies. 

Ant baits attract ants and encourage foragers to leave ant trails for others leading back to the bait. 

More workers visit the bait believing its food and carry tiny bits back to the colony to feed nestmates, including the queen. 

All ants that feed on the liquid bait die. 

With the death of the queen, the entire colony dies. 

Terro outdoor liquid ant bait is an effective outdoor ant killer. 

The active ingredient in Terro liquid ant bait is the naturally occurring compound borax. 

Liquid baits are handy because ants readily swallow liquid foods. 

Place the bait stations on the ground in locations close to ant trails or where ants frequent.


Granular baits

To reiterate an earlier point, the ant species is critical when deciding the right ant killer for your lawn.

Granule baits are faster to feed to an army of invasive fire ants instead of waiting for foragers to locate liquid bait stations. 

Ant bait granules are effective against fire ants because of their synthetic active ingredients. 

The active ingredient in Amdro fire ant granules is the organofluoride hydramethylnon. An alternative to Amdro is Advion fire ant bait. The killer chemical in Advion is indoxacarb, an organophosphate. 

The mode with which these two outdoor ant baits kill the ants is similar to liquid baits. 

To feed the ants, scatter the granules on mounds, ant trails, and any location with fire ant activity. Ants start dying 1-2 days after consumption. 

Replenish the granules until complete activity ceases.

Granular ant baits are not the same as gel ant killers. 

Granular baits are available as granules, whereas gel baits are in the form of gel or cream. 

The granules are easy to scatter in lawns. 

Gels baits, packed in tubes, are convenient for wall surfaces, cracks, crevices, and tiny holes.

References:

https://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/ja/ja_shelton011.pdf

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-use-diatomaceous-earth-guide

https://gregg.agrilife.org/files/2011/09/organicmethodsfireantcontrol_8.pdf

http://ipm.ucanr.edu/m/pn7411-5.html


Which is better for my lawn, liquid or granular ant bait?

Both liquid and granular ant baits are designed and presented as food. However, the killer substance in the liquid ant killer bait, borax, is not toxic to humans.

Thus, liquid ant baits are safer to apply around people and pets than granules because the liquid is secured inside the bait station.

Some liquid bait stations are waterproof. The liquid bait is held in anti-leak, anti-breakage packages, making them even safer to use outdoors and in all weather conditions.

Granule baits are problematic in several ways.

showing how something is risky

Scattering them on the surface is risky because kids, pets, or other creatures that crave sweet stuff can easily find and feed on them.

The two common chemical substances in granular baits (hydramethylnon and indoxacarb) are toxic to other life forms, such as marine animals. As such, applying them is not recommended if rain is expected.