Looking for products to kill outdoor ants around your yard? You're in the right place!
In this Pest Strategies guide, you'll learn:
- Our #1 outdoor ant killing product
- The types of outdoor ants to be aware of when using products
- Your options and what to look for when it comes to outdoor ant killing products
- Other recommended products for homeowners
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Our favorite outdoor product is definitely Terro's Liquid Ant Baits.
These are sugar based baits that are easy to use, quick to kill, and extremely effective. They'll also fit in nicely with your yard as they come in a nice green color that will blend in with most landscaping setups.
What's even better is that the stakes can be placed in other places outside of your yard, such as your garage, basement, and crawl space. These are perfect for small and large ant infestations and should keep the ants at bay for most homeowners!
Want to learn more about the other outdoor ant products we reviewed and ant killing best practices?
Keep on reading!
Despite being annoying inside your house, ants also have a reputation as lawn killers.
Outdoor ants can ruin your lawn, bite you or your pets, and some can even damage your property if left unchecked.
If you're looking for some of the best outdoor ant killers to keep your yard ant free, then keep reading!
Top 4 Best Outdoor Ant Killers
Short on time? No problem, check out our top picks conveniently listed below. But we do encourage you to keep on reading to learn more about outdoor ant solutions and best practices!
Want to skip all this research and just hire a decent exterminator for your ant problem?
What Types of Outdoor Ants Are There?
There are thousands of different species of ants in the USA and it’s impossible to identify and tackle every single one individually. To simplify things a bit, I want to focus on two main outdoor ants that'll cause more serious problems if left unattended.
These are carpenters ants and fire ants.
Carpenter ants prefer to be outdoors and like to nest in and around wood. They like areas that have a lot of moisture and tend to be within the vicinity of rotten trees or stumps. Sometimes they'll decide to live near your house, especially if you store wood nearby. You can identify them by their large size and wood shavings or sawdust near their nest.
If you realize that you have a carpenter ant problem, it's important to act quickly. If you leave them, they could start to burrow through the foundations of your house or patio (assuming it’s made of wood). The cost of repairing the damage caused by carpenters is far higher than buying an effective killer.
Fire ants are a parent's or pet owner’s worst nightmare. These tiny red pests can live in giant colonies and have nasty stings.
Some people can even have an allergic reactions that can be fatal. You need to take care when you’re dealing with these pests to avoid getting attacked.
It’s not uncommon for the fire ants to destroy wiring around your house as they search for food. Similar to carpenter ants, if they’re left alone, it’s likely that they’ll find their way indoors, which increases the risk posed towards you and your family.
The fire ants tend to have their nests deep below the ground. You can identify them by the fluffy appearance of the soil around the nest and the lack of a central entrance. If you have these pests, you should act immediately to destroy the colony with some of the methods we list below.
What Are The Types of Outdoor Ant Killing Products?
The best outdoor ant killers use a bait that contains a slow acting insecticide (borax is a common ingredient used for ants). Borax's slow acting nature takes advantage of ant's social nature to later infect and kill the queen, larvae and colony.
Liquid Baits (Liquids and Gels)
Liquid or gel baits use a sweet solution as an attractant. Gel baits are dispensed with a syringe and can be great for hard to reach cracks and crevices normal traps or granules wouldn't be able to reach.
Some popular traps, such as the TERRO brand, use liquid baits which ants bring back to their colony to feed the the queen and their colony.
Take a look at the below video to get a sense on how to bait for ants outdoors.
Solid Baits (Granules and Dusts)
Granules are a fat/protein type of bait that's spread out around your lawn. Dusts such as Diatomaceous Earth (or DE for short) is used to dry out the exoskeletons of the ants and other bugs. For outside purposes, I would lean toward granules over DE simply because rain washes away most of the DE.
A range of aerosols and liquid sprays are also available as contact killers and barriers to surround your house. You spray this onto the ant trail or around the house or garden to act as a deterrent.
It’s also important to be aware of the type of ant that you have as different killers are more effective against different species. You can read what best against carpenter, fire, and lawn ants on the links above. (INTERNAL LINKS)
What Should You Look for When Buying?
The main thing to look for is a resilient and weatherproof product.
You don’t want to use something that gets washed away when it rains. Likewise, you want to avoid those that will be blown away with a strong gust of wind (powders, etc).
A lot of this depends on which State you’re in and the climate conditions that you’re faced with. A waterproof product isn’t quite as important if you’re using it in a desert type climate.
Another important feature to keep an eye out for is pet and child safety. When you let your dog or cat outside, you wouldn't want them to eat ant bait would you?
If you do have children and pets, I would lean more toward ant traps as they are more self contained, with the poison located inside a plastic container. Granules, sprays, and gels are usually spread around loose and could get into your pets food unintentionally.
Want to skip all this research and just hire a decent exterminator for your ant problem?
Outdoor Ant Killer Products Reviewed
Now that you’ve learned about the different types of outdoor ants and the problems that they can cause, here are five of the best outdoor ant killers for you to try to keep your lawn ant free.
TERRO uses the insecticide borax mixed with a sugary liquid bait (ants love this) creating a slow acting killer capable of eliminating a colony within 24 to 48 hours. This works against different species of outdoor ants and usually works well against a large infestation. You put the bait stations in strategic places around the mound or their trails and let the trap do the rest.
The liquid ant baits are great to control large scale infestations well as the occasional scout ants. The only downside of the TERRO is that it can be quite messy if you mess up the packaging.
For a full review of Terro Ant Baits, click here!
Amdro granules use a bait with the active ingredient ".88% of Hydramethylnon" to disrupt the energy production in bugs that digest it.
This is also another slow acting poison that will keep ants alive just long enough to feed it to their queen (perfect).
Amdro is effective against carpenter ants and up to 14 other types of outdoor ants. The granules have a large range of up to 1080 linear feet once spread throughout your yard and around your house. Some folks have even eliminated indoor ant problems by sprinkling some of this product around the perimeter of their house.
For a full review of Amdro Ant Baits, click here!
Advance uses a specific combination of protein attractants to entice a wide range of species to come to the bait. The active insecticide is Abamectin, which is carried back to the colony and acts to destroy the eggs. Abamectin has been found to be nontoxic to humans, but is dangerous to beneficial insects such as bees.
Overall, this is a great bait with an insecticide that neutralizes most of the common ant types you'll likely have in your yard including: Fire Ants, Black Ants, and Pharaoh Ants.
Some people claim their ants aren’t receptive to the granules. This could be because the ant's prefer a sugar meal (granules are protein based) or the granule itself is to large to carry back to the colony.
Bifen L/P is another protein based granule bait meant to be spread throughout your yard to eliminate ants and pretty much any pest in your yard.
This product contains .2% Bifenthrin, which is usually included in many various pest control products targeting the nervous system of affected insects.
This is a slightly more dangerous ingredient and should be applied with some caution, away from pets and children during initial application.
Overall, Bifen L/P leans more to the commercial side of pest control decimating most ant problems with initial use. Just spread the granules using a broadcast tool and lightly water them with a sprinkler to get the most results.
Our Top Picks: TERRO Outdoor Ant Bait & Bifen L/P
For your outdoor ant needs, we'd recommend deploying the Bifen L/P granules with a broadcast spreader and placing the liquid ant traps in strategic locations near mounds and/or ant trails.
For the granules, you'll need a spread. Here's one of our favorites from Scotts. Happy hunting!
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Other Ant Articles
Curious about other ant related products? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.