Ants, like all other insects, have a purpose. But some of us would argue that their purpose is to bring misery to us all. They invade our yards. They get into our houses. They drive us mad when we see their trails marching across the floor.
If ants have taken over your yard, it’s only a matter of time before they start invading your home. Using our best outdoor ant killers will help to stop ants dead in their tracks – before they have a chance to walk through the front door.
There are many ways to get rid of ants outside. We’re going to share our top picks for the best outdoor ant traps and answer some of your most burning questions about them.
Table of Contents
- Top 6 Best Outdoor Ant Killer Reviews
Our Top Pick for 2019
Ortho Orthene Outdoor Ant Killer
Ortho Orthene’s first ant killer is fast-acting and targets one of the most feared and stubborn species of ants. A single bottle of this product can treat up to 162 mounds and doesn’t require watering-in.
- No watering-in
- Kills the queen
Top 6 Best Outdoor Ant Killer Reviews
1. Best Ant Killer – Ortho Orthene Ant Killer
Fire ants are more of a nuisance than virtually any other type of ant (aside from carpenter ants). Why? Because they bite and sting relentlessly, making it almost impossible to enjoy time out in your backyard. They can be particularly dangerous to pets and small children.
Stings and bites from fire ants can cause allergic reactions, infections and, in very rare cases, death because of an allergic reaction.
It targets and destroys fire ant mounds – including the queen. A single bottle can treat up to 162 mounds. Ortho says their product is guaranteed to kill the colony, or you get your money back. You can use this product as part of Ortho’s two-step fire ant method.
Just sprinkle one tablespoon of this product on a fire ant mound, and it will start killing ants within hours. The queen and the rest of the colony should be dead within three days. There is no watering-in required.
Why is this product so successful? It contains 50% acephate.
Acephate can kill insects when they touch or eat it. When the fire ants eat the bait, their bodies transform it into a chemical called methamidophos, which is another stronger insecticide. Methamidophos affects the nervous system, causing over-activity in the brain, nerves and muscles.
The great thing about this product is that it’s so easy to use. Just sprinkle it onto the mound, and let it work its magic. There’s just one caveat: you shouldn’t disturb the mound. If you disturb the mound, the ants that come in contact with the powder will die, but the other workers may move the queen to a new location out of fear.
Ortho Orthene is highly effective against fire ants. You’ll have to be cautious when using this product – keep pets and kids away. But in just a few short days, you should be able to finally start enjoying your yard again.
- Easy to use
- Kills mounds in three days
- Targets fire ants
- Doesn’t require watering-in
- Can treat up to 162 mounds
- May not work properly if you disrupt the mound
- Not ideal for use around pets and small children
2. Ortho Home Insect Killer Granules
Ortho Home Defense granules offer three months of protection, and they target all kinds of insects – not just ants. If you also want to get rid of other pests, like ticks, spiders, fleas and mole crickets, this product may be a good option for you. This is the best ant killer for lawns, especially if you have a big infestation.
The key active ingredient in this product is bifenthrin 0.115%.
Bifenthrin is an insecticide that is part of the pyrethroid family, and it works by targeting the central and peripheral nervous system of insects.
One application will keep insects under control for three months. A single bottle can treat homes up to 2,000 square feet at least twice. Just apply along the foundation of your home.
The great thing about this product is that pets and people can start using the yard again after the product has been watered in and allowed to dry. The granules can be applied to lawns, and near ornamentals and flowers.
Ortho Home Defense Max granules are so easy to use, and the main active ingredient is proven to be highly effective against all types of insects.
But if you have a fire ant problem, we recommend trying a different product on this list. Fire ants are clever creatures, and they’re notoriously difficult to kill.
- Easy to use
- Works on multiple types of insects
- Pets and humans can return to the yard after the product is watered in
- Not ideal for use with fire ants
- Can’t be used in vegetable gardens
3. Terro Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits
Terro’s indoor liquid baits are the go-to choice for most households. It only makes sense to trust this brand for an outdoor ant problem.
Terro’s 1-oz. outdoor liquid baits come in a pack of six, and each station is pre-filled and ready to go. The bait attracts and kills most common species of household ants outside – before they can even get into the house. It’s ideal for large ant infestations.
Like other liquid baits, this product kills the ants slowly by interfering with their digestive system. The slow killing mechanism is beneficial because it gives worker ants the chance to transport the bait to the queen and the rest of the colony.
Terro makes it easy to set these traps. They come with stakes attached that can be placed directly into the ground. The ants will be attracted to the sweet liquid, and take it back to their nests.
We really like these traps because they’re so easy to set, and they’re pretty easy for ants to get to. Just push the stake into the ground where you see ant activity. You don’t have to use the stakes, so you can still lay them flat on the concrete.
They do need to be put out of reach of kids and pets. Sometimes, the liquid can spill out of the trap and make a mess. It can stain concrete, and the liquid can be toxic to kids and pets. Of course, these are all concerns that you’d have with any pre-filled trap.
- Easy to set on patios or grass
- Pre-filled for easy use
- Kills the entire colony
- They can be messy
- May stain concrete
4. Terro Outdoor Liquid Bait Stakes
Maybe you like the idea of putting liquid bait stations outside, but the previous product is too big or you’re worried about kids and pets getting into them. Terro’s liquid bait stakes are a good alternative. These ones aren’t ideal for large infestations, but they will work well for most ant problems.
Each package contains eight weatherproof bait stakes with 0.25 oz. of liquid. The bait attracts and kills all common household ants before they have a chance to get into your house. The ants take the bait and bring it back to the colony to kill the other workers and the queen.
The stakes make it so easy to put the traps in the ground – and keep them there. There’s less worry about other animals (like raccoons) stealing the traps in the middle of the night. The stakes are weatherproof, too, so you don’t have to worry if it rains.
The tiered bait pack increases the bait’s consumption while minimizing waste. The see-through window makes it easy to monitor the ant bait level, so you can replace as necessary.
One thing you’ll like about this product is that the main active ingredient is Borax. Borax is highly effective at killing ants, but it isn’t as toxic as other insecticides.
When the bait is gone, you can throw the stakes in the trash. Some people have had luck with refilling the bait stations with new gel or liquid bait.
- Stakes make it easy to place the traps
- Bait contains Borax, a natural insecticide
- Traps can be refilled and are weatherproof
- Animals may be attracted to the bait
5. AMDRO Perimeter Bait Granules
AMDRO’s perimeter bait granules work in a similar way to Ortho’s granules. Ants are attracted to the granules, and they bring the bait back to the colony to destroy it.
This particular product kills all types of ants, including carpenter, fire and 23 other species. The active ingredient in the product is hydramethylnon (0.88%).
The granules create a barrier around your home, and this barrier provides protection for up to three months. Imagine not having to worry about any ants in your yard or home for an entire summer.
A single 24-oz. bottle will cover 1,080 linear feet and will be able to treat the average home at least five times. The bait will start to work its magic within a week of application, and the colony will be killed within two weeks of laying down the bait.
The granules are easy to apply, but you’ll want to keep kids and pets away from them.
- Lasts for three months
- The granules kill the colony slowly
- One bottle provides multiple treatments
- It can take up to two weeks to kill ant colonies
6. Bayer Advanced Ant Killer Plus
Bayer’s Advanced Ant Killer Plus kills more than just ants. It also targets:
These ant-killing granules have two active ingredients:
- Imidacloprid 0.15%
- Beta-cyfluthrin 0.05%
The two-way action of this product treats insects for up to three months.
One bottle covers up to 1,500 square feet. It’s a great spot treatment for ant mounds, and the product comes in a really convenient shaker bottle. Use around the perimeter of the house and patio areas.
While convenient and easy to use, you’ll need to keep pets and small children away from the treated area.
- Kills multiple types of insects and species of ants, including fire ants
- Convenient shaker bottle
- Will kill the entire colony
- Continues working for three months
- Slow-killing, so it takes time to wipe out the colony