Best Outdoor Ant Killers 2018 (REVIEWS)

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!

outdoor ant killers

The Types of Outdoor Ants

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

carpenter ant

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.

Carpenter ant wood damage

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

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.

Want to skip all this research and just hire a decent exterminator to kill your ants for you?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area to take care of your pest problem. Takes about 30 seconds. Give it a look!

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.

Fire ant mound height

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.

The Types of Outdoor Ant Killers

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.

Sprays

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 to Look for When Buying An Outdoor Ant Killer

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).

ant traps self contained

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 to kill your ants for you?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area to take care of your pest problem. Takes about 30 seconds. Give it a look!

Outdoor Ant Killer Reviews

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 a borax liquid bait that has a slow acting insecticide that can eliminate 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!

Pros

  • Easy And Quick Setup
  • Effective Against Large Infestations
  • Works On Multiple Ant Species (Carpenter, Fire, etc)
  • Weatherproof

Cons

  • The Liquid Baits Can Be Messy
  • Needs To Be Regularly Checked/Monitored
  • Sometimes Works To Well And Can Attract New Ant Colonies

Amdro Home Perimeter 

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!

Pros

  • Easy To Apply And Non-Messy.
  • Can Be Used For Multiple Ant Species Effectively

Cons

  • Some Ants Learn To Avoid The Granules
  • Results Are Not immediate
  • Requires Extra Equipment To Spread Throughout Your Yard

Ant Killer Bait Stakes

The bait stakes use Hydramethylnon 1.0% as the active ingredient, which is carried back to the colony by the workers similar to the Amdro product.

This has long residual effects and the colonies usually won’t return if you use this product correctly. You need to replace the stakes every few weeks for the best results.

This is an okay product that baits the outdoor ants and is also safe to use around your pets. I dislike the high level of maintenance and the need to replace it every few weeks. I've also found that this trap isn't as weather proof as other products on this list (TERRO for example).

Pros

  • Easy Setup
  • Good For Small Infestations

Cons

  • Not Weather Resistant 
  • Requires Heavy Upkeep
  • Needs To Be Extremely Close To The Ant Trail To Be Effective

Advance Granular Bait

Advance uses a specific combination of 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.

Pros

  • Easy To Apply And Non-Messy.
  • Can Be Used For Multiple Ant Species Effectively

Cons

  • Some Ants Learn To Avoid The Granules
  • Results Are Not immediate
  • Requires Extra Equipment To Spread Throughout Your Yard

Bifen L/P Granules

Bifen L/P is another protein based granule bait meant to be spread throughout your yard to eliminate ants and pretty much any other 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.

Pros

  • Kills A Wide Variety Of Insects (Fire Ants, Moles, Crickets, Ticks, etc)
  • Spreads Easily
  • Highly Effective Fast Acting Killer

Cons

  • Toxic Active Ingredient, Disburse With Care
  • Active Ingredient Is Highly Toxic To Some Beneficial Insects (Bees, etc)

The Bottom Line

For the best outdoor ant killer, I have to give the winner to the Bifen L/P granules AND the TERRO outdoor liquid ant bait.

Two winners? I know, here's why...

Outdoor ants can be very fickle with their diets. Some like protein based meals (granules) and others like sugar based (ant traps or gels). You just don't know, and unless you have both types covered you might be putting yourself through unneeded stress.

For your outdoor ant needs, I'd recommend deploying the Bifen L/P granules around your yard and placing the liquid ant traps in strategic locations near mounds and/or ant trails.

Happy Hunting!

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