What makes the best outdoor ant killers? Everyone sees what they want in these insecticides, depending on what type of ants they want to kill or how they want to kill them. But I think that it’s a combination of weatherproofing, broadcasting capabilities, ease of use, and safety that makes a particular ant killer better than the others.
I’m sharing with you my favorite choices so that you won’t have to worry about your property getting all messed up with anthills.
6 Best Outdoor Ant Killers You Can Get Right Now
- 6 Best Outdoor Ant Killers You Can Get Right Now
- What Not to Look for in the Outdoor Ant Killers
- Natural vs Synthetic Ant Killers
- Are Bait Stations Mandatory?
The Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter is one of my favorite formulas for dealing with ant infestations. This ant killer is available in 12oz, 24oz, and 32oz containers, all of which feature the same granulated formula.
You can use these bait granules to create a barrier around the property or specific parts of the yard. You can also use them close to an anthill to dispose of the ants faster.
Once the ants bite into the granules, they become poisoned but won’t die immediately. It means that they will carry the remaining bait back to the colony where all other ants, including the queen, will feed on it.
The residual effect will last for about three months, granted that the weather conditions are not so awful that they destroy or dilute the granules.
Another great solution is the Terro T1812 bait stakes. What’s great here is not so much the bait and the insecticide used, but the bait stations. That’s the main reason why I’m recommending this product.
Bait stakes is a simplistic description. The Terro T1812 has eight bait monitoring stations in each pack. The stakes serve as a means for ants to go in and get the bait from underground.
The bait is sealed and pet and kid-proof. The bait station also sits very close to the ground, if you drive the stake deep enough. Since one side is seethrough, you can always check whether it’s time to add more bait.
The stakes are reusable to some degree, which is also nice. The weatherproofing is spot-on, too. Firm ridges keep the stakes from moving around even in soft or wet soil.
The Terro 1806 are liquid ant bait stations with a proprietary formula, and they’re effective against a wide range of ant species. It’s a borax-based formula, both effective and quite toxic.
The bait stations have a low profile and multiple entry points. It makes them quite stable even on soft terrain and during windy days. Stake the bait stations into the ground for additional stability.
The formula is very potent and will kill ants fast. If the bait stations are not close enough to the mounds, then not all ants might make it back to home base to broadcast the poison.
Essentially, this is a 10lbs bag of food-grade diatomaceous earth. Why food-grade? Because it is the safest kind to use around your home or garden.
The diatomaceous earth is known to affect insects in many ways, including robbing them of their exoskeletons. In ants, the result is the same as it is with fleas, dust mites, spiders, and other pests – dehydration and eventually death.
It will take up to 48 hours for this killer to work, and it’s most lethal during a dry season. The diatomaceous earth doesn’t respond too well to moisture, high humidity, or rain.
And, since this comes in powdered form, it’s much easier to coat the entire property in it than it would be to spread granules evenly.
The Eco Raider Ant Killer only comes in 32oz canisters. The built-in dispersal system has a sprayer and nozzle extension. It’s a very professional design if I do say so myself, one that’s easy to use even if you’re not a licensed exterminator.
Surprisingly enough, this formula is natural. And I say that because it’s the type of formula that kills on contact. Well, at least in up to six minutes after contact for resilient, invasive fire ants. It’s great as a quick solution. However, it might have trouble killing the queen and eggs.
At the same time, you could just cut off trails in and out of the colony and let the ants starve and dehydrate to death. The formula should keep working for up to four weeks after application.
The Syngenta Optigard is a Thiamethoxam-based poison. This formula comes as a gel, and you can use it in a wide range of bait stations. Due to its syringe-like delivery system, it’s also easy to fill up cracks and crevices with it.
The formula is highly attractive and palatable to ants of various species, including carpenter ants. But, it’s somewhat less effective against fire and harvester ants.
One thing that I don’t like is that the Optigard package doesn’t include bait stations. The four tubes of insecticide gel can deal with a couple of colonies, but you’ll need to get some bait stations if you don’t just want to use it for cracks and crevices and other places where pets and kids won’t reach it.
What Not to Look for in the Outdoor Ant Killers
I’ve reviewed many chemical and natural insecticides for ants, bees, spiders, and other annoying pests. But I’ve always tried to balance things out by offering both indoor and outdoor viable options.
This time I took a different approach. Why? Because it’s much easier to stick to a single niche and compare a few products in it. When shopping just for outdoor ant killers, some things or features are no longer necessary.
Things like non-staining and no-odor formulas aren’t as important anymore. Still, excellent quality of life features, but features that won’t affect the overall efficiency of the product.
Natural vs Synthetic Ant Killers
There are natural ant killers, and then there are organic ant killers. You should know this because the terms aren’t interchangeable and because the products act differently.
Many natural ant killers can have appealing smells, may be less irritating to kids, pets, and small mammals. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re all guaranteed to be harmless. Some essential oils can hurt pets too, even though it won’t kill them, maim them, or cause any long-term damage.
Some natural ant killers may even alter the taste of edible plants, though it won’t make them go bad. Organic ant killers are usually made of one thing only, and that’s diatomaceous earth. It’s a popular insect killer treatment used inside and outside due to it being safe for humans and animals.
Then there are, of course, synthetic ant killers. They are toxic insecticides that, although not everyone likes them, are very good at what they do. As long as you use them carefully, these are likely to give you the best results.
Are Bait Stations Mandatory?
Not all the time. If you use granules, gels, or liquid baits, then I would recommend using bait stations too. Ants will find them eventually even if the pellets aren’t scattered directly on the lawn. But you want bait stations for two things mainly: weatherproofing and keeping pets and kids away from the insecticide.
There are also poisons that you can spread inside the mound or things like diatomaceous earth, which is a powder that can be spread easily for 100% property coverage.
It depends on your unique situation. But, at the end of the day, I always recommend having some bait stations around. It’s good to have them, especially if you’re shopping for replacement baits or if your favorite insecticide doesn’t come with prefilled stations.
Keep Your Garden Healthy and Your Home Ant-Free
Using insecticides may seem harsh, but ants are notoriously difficult to manage. Repellents and deterrents just won’t always work against the ants as good as they do against larger insects. By using the best outdoor ant killers listed in this article, you’ll be able to not only kill off all ants on your property but also prevent them from establishing new colonies or going into your home.
Just pick your poison, no pun intended, based on the weather conditions in your area and the ant species you’ve identified as causing issues.