Written by

David Floyd

David Floyd

Reviewed by

Brett Ehlert

Brett Ehlert

#1 Best Ant Killer For Lawns – Ant Free Yard Tested by a Pest Technician

Are you struggling with an ant infestation in your yard that is causing inconvenience or potential harm to you and your loved ones? It is crucial to address this issue and reclaim your outdoor area from these pests. As a pest control expert with twenty years of experience, I have witnessed firsthand the disturbance and harm that ants can bring to your lawn.

As a result, I have dedicated my time and efforts to testing various ant killers that are safe for both your lawn and your family. Please see below for my comprehensive evaluation of the most effective treatment options after conducting thorough testing. Here are the best outdoor ant killers we’ve tested!

Best Ant Killer For Lawns – Outdoor Ant Killers

  1. Ant Adios Outdoor Ant Killer – Best Overall
  2. Ortho Lawn Home Defense
  3. Harris Diatomaceous Earth
  4. Surrender Fire Ant Killer
best ant killer for lawns

Important Things to Look for When Purchasing Outdoor Lawn Ant Killers

Here are the most crucial things to put in mind when purchasing ant killers for your lawn.

Type of Ant Invading Your Lawn

Never be in a rush when purchasing any ant killer. The first step should involve identifying the species of ants taking over your lawn. Following this crucial initial step will help you identify a product that targets the specific ants in your lawn.

ant hills in lawn

For instance, one common ant species you’ll find in many lawns is the odorous ant. This type of ant produces a foul smell when squashed. Additionally, this type of ant is known to be resilient, which makes it withstand mild insect treatments.

Odorous ants are also not picky when selecting their habitats since they can comfortably survive in both outdoor and indoor locations. Therefore, the moment you spot these ants on your lawn, you’ll first need to place necessary measures to prevent the ants from invading your home.

Type of Lawn Ant Killer to Use

After identifying the specific ant types invading your lawn, the next step involves determining the most effective ant killer. Ant killers can be categorized into two main classifications; kill-on-contact and bait. 

The kill-on contact is an ant killer with ingredients that kill ants on the spot. The ant must come into contact with the ant killer (chemical) for this method to work. Therefore you must ensure you incorporate good applications to accurately target the ants.

On the other hand, bait insecticides attract the instincts of ants. This method leverages the idea that ants like sweet things like sugar and honey. Therefore, most baits will have a piece of food with a luring flavor to attract the ants. The bait will also incorporate ingredients (slow-acting) meant to poison and kill the ant. Since these ingredients are slow-working, the worker ant will have enough time to consume and later carry the remaining bait to its colony. This way, you’ll be able to target the entire colony.

If you are looking for indoor ant control, then look at our guide on the best ant killers!

Application Method

The technique you incorporate to apply ant killers is also a major consideration. They will help you determine whether you need to purchase additional tools, such as a spreader or sprayer.

lawn ant treatments

For instance, if you wish to use the spray application method, then buying a sprayer is a necessity. This method is ideal to use with ant killers coming in liquid form; after spraying, the ant killer leaves a poisonous residue that kills all ants passing over it.

Active Ant Killer Ingredients

Another crucial aspect you should consider when purchasing a lawn ant killer. After deciding on the ant killer type you will use, note down its key ingredient. The best and most effective active ingredients eliminate ants without necessarily destroying your yard or posing any risks to pets and humans. Some of the most common ingredients (active) include Borax, bifenthrin, and deltamethrin. 

Best Ant Killers for Lawns

Here’s our list of the five best ant killers you can use on your lawn for effective results:

1. Ortho Home Defense Ready-To-Spray Ant Killer

In my experience, the Ortho Home Defense was the most effective lawn ant treatment that I used, it was extremely easy to apply and I saw results within a week!

Eliminating and preventing ants from invading one’s lawn can be challenging for most people. Thankfully, this effective ant killer that comes in liquid form comes ready to use, thus streamlining application. The aspect of it being ready and easy to use contributes to the biggest selling point of this ant killer. All you’ll require is fixing your garden horse, turning your water on, and spraying.

Ortho Home Defense Lawn Ant Killer

The other incredible thing about this liquid ant killer is it’s long-lasting. In most cases, you’ll find ant killers remaining effective for approximately one month. However, the Ortho Home Defense spices things up by lasting for three good months. This product also exterminates ants and insects, such as spiders, dog ticks, and fleas.

The downside to this product is that it isn’t suitable to use in indoor areas. If you have ants building habitats inside your house, you must purchase an ant killer suitable for indoor applications. 

2. HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade, 4lb With Powder

If you’ve been looking for a lawn ant killer that’s safe to utilize around pets and kids, or you’ve been looking for an all-natural solution, the Harris Diatomaceous Earth is an incredible option. This insecticide, formulated by PF Harris, is unique as it comprises 100% diatomaceous earth. The manufacturer grounds this ingredient into a fine powder, formulating a fast-acting insecticide that shreds an ant’s exoskeleton within 48 hours. The ant then dries out and dies.

Regarding application, this ant killer offers you plenty of options. The most common way involves using a powder duster with the insecticide to spread the dust on the targeted area. This method is suitable to use in small lawns. When considering bigger lawns, mix the diatomaceous earth with water and incorporate a sprayer for utilization.

The only downside to using this ant killer is that you’ll face challenges with the product being washed or blown away by water and wind, respectively. This may lower the product’s effectiveness.

3. Surrender Fire Ant Killer With Acephate

If you’re searching for an effective ant killer that helps eliminate ants destroying your trees and plants, then Martin’s Surrender Ant Killer is the most effective choice. This ant killer contains Acephate as its key ingredient, effectively controlling biting insects. The insecticide works by interfering with the insects’ central nervous systems. You only need one treatment every season, as it has enough chemicals to cover approximately 108 mounds.

Surrender Fire Ant Killer

In addition, this lawn ant killer eradicates the insects within minutes after its application. The other good thing is that you can use it as a liquid insecticide and spray it on plants.

The only downside of the Surrender Fire Ant Killer is that you can only find it in some states. 

4. Terro Outdoor Liquid (Ant Bait Stakes)

It can be time-consuming to eliminate ants from your lawn. However, this shouldn’t be a cause of concern with Terro Outdoor Liquid. The biggest highlight of this lawn ant killer is that it’s easy to use. It comes with bait stations that are already pre-filled so that you can use them immediately.

Terro Outdoor Lawn Ant Killer Stations

Your only job will be to look for ant traces in your yard, place the stakes, pull the activation tabs, and leave them to do their work. Here, you don’t require any tools to set up the baits. The Terro Outdoor Liquid also uses Borax as its key ingredient. This component has long been proven to be effective in controlling a variety of ant species.

The disadvantage of using this bait is that it comes in liquid form. This can easily spill, especially if you don’t handle it properly.

5. Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor and Perimeter2 and Refill Bundle

Not every lawn ant killer you purchase will be appropriate for your home perimeter. Therefore, if you’re looking for the best home perimeter spray, this Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer will be the most suitable option. The ant killer contains 0.25% of permethrin as its active ingredient, suitable for killing ants without harming humans or pets.

Ortho Home Defense Ant Perimeter Killer

The other good thing about this active ingredient is that it can remain effective for a long time. It works by creating a barrier that’s effective enough to keep bugs away for a minimum of 12 months. The ant killer also works with different bugs, including spiders and roaches. It’s also safe enough as individuals can use it indoors.

The only con of using this product is that you’ll need some learning curve to use the wand and spray bottle. 

How to Maintain Safety When Handling and Applying Insect Killers

Anytime you purchase any ant killer, you should first confirm whether its components are EPA-approved. Doing this will assist you in determining whether this insecticide is safe to utilize around pets and kids.

In addition, you should be vigilant to research and understand the period you should avoid tampering with the treated space after application.

Fortunately, most ingredients incorporated in the ant killers are only poisonous to the ants and other insects, but not people. Nevertheless, it’s still good practice to maintain safety precautions to lower exposure to these ingredients.

Some important measures to look out for include the following:

  • Spraying the insecticide away from your eyes and wearing eye protection
  • Placing the ant bait spots in safe areas, away from children’s reach.
  • Wearing long protective pants, long sleeves, and gloves. 

Similar to ants, if you’re dealing with mosquitoes then check out our pet safe mosquito treatment guide as well!

Crucial Things to Avoid When Purchasing Lawn Ant Killers

Getting rid of ants in your lawn can be difficult, if you are still struggling to get rid of ants, then you can also consider hiring a professional lawn care company, or follow our additional tips and tricks below. If the methods you’re using to control ants aren’t giving you any good results, then you’re making one of these mistakes:

Not Purchasing the Right Amount of Ant Killer

Buying the wrong amount of lawn ant killer will hinder your efforts to eliminate ants from your lawn. To avoid this mistake, calculate your lawn’s square footage first. This calculation will assist you in establishing the exact amount of chemicals you require in the yard.

Depending Entirely on Ant Killers

Ant killers indeed provide an immediate solution to the pest problem you’re facing. However, it’s also good to note that these chemicals don’t address the underlying problem. It’s always good practice to inspect your lawn and determine the different aspects that attract insects in the first place. Doing this will help you save money and time by avoiding reoccurring infestations that might happen in the future.

Failure to First Identify the Different Ant Species

Before doing anything else, it’s best to figure out the different ant species attacking your yard. Skipping this step may be tricky since you might end up purchasing an ant killer that’s ineffective for the species of ants in your yard.


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the best ant killer for lawns.

What Attracts Ants To My Lawn?

Similar to other types of pests, ants will invade your lawn in search of three major things: food, shelter, and moisture. Therefore, if you have the prior mentioned resources in your lawn area, don’t be shocked to find a colony of ants. Here’s a brief breakdown of these resources that are attracting ants to your space:

Food: Ants love feeding on honeydew, a sticky liquid from lawn pests such as aphids. Additionally, other species, such as army ants, feed on grass.

Shelter: Ant species like carpenter ants love building their shelters on rotting wood. Other species prefer building these nests in the yard or with soil debris. All these can be located on your lawn.

Moisture: do you have items around your lawn that can collect rainwater? Those kids’ toys, gardening pots, and pet bows offer insects with water that’s readily accessible. 

What Active Ingredient Is Good For Killing Ants?

Boric acid is amongst the most common chemicals individuals use to eliminate ants. For the chemical to work effectively, most lawn owners spread it around their homes as a powder. The chemical is not only effective at eliminating ants but can also be used to kill termites and cockroaches. It attracts ants with its luring sweetness; once the ants digest the chemical, it poisons their stomachs.

What Do Pest Control Companies Use To Eliminate Ants?

Most pest control experts will incorporate gel baits to eliminate ants such as the Syngenta Advion Ant Bait. Using gel baits is an effective solution that comes in handy if the nest or anthill is at the surface. The pest control experts will place the bait near the infested surfaces and then wait for the insects to ingest it and bring it back to the rest of the colony.

Final Thoughts On The Best Ant Killer For Your Yard:

Treating for ants in your lawn is slightly different than treating for ants in your home. For example, in our pet safe ant killer guide we recommend more indoor treatment options which are designed for smaller more precise spaces, which wouldn’t necessarily work to protect your lawn from ants. Thankfully, all the products recommend above are extremely effective best ant killers for lawns, and will help take back your yard from ants!




David Floyd:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. David is Quality Pro certified and is a certified Structural Pest Control Operator in the state of North Carolina, and the owner of NCPestControlExperts pest control company.

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