The Best Outdoor Ant Killers For Your Lawn In 2023

If you’re like most people with a home and garden space, then you’re probably always looking for ways to make your lawn and garden look its best. One of the challenges that can come up is dealing with ant infestations. Lawns are a common target for ants, and they can grow rapidly if left unchecked.

If you’ve been battling ants in your lawn for a while now, you may be looking for some solutions; the best way to get rid of these pests is to use an outdoor ant killer. Luckily, there are some great outdoor ant killers on the market today that can help take care of the problem.

While there are all sorts of different methods for getting rid of ants, some work better than others. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the best outdoor ant killers that are available in 2023. We will also provide tips on how to use these products effectively, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each method. So, if you’re dealing with ants in your yard, be sure to read on for some helpful advice!

Why Do You Have Ants In Your Backyard?

Ants are a common problem in the home and outdoor space. They can cause unsightly messes, damage to your property, and create an unsafe environment for people or pets who come into contact with them. But, why do you find them in your back lawn in the first place?

Ants are highly social crawling insects that dwell in huge colonies with hundreds or even thousands of other ants. They dig massive, intricate systems that are mostly underground, often in normal soil.

Ants prefer to build their nests in soil that is well-drained and not compacted, which helps prevent their colonies from flooding. This implies, unfortunately, that a well-maintained lawn is more appealing to an ant colony than a neglected yard. If you have well-fed and healthy soil that is full of nutrients and a thick lawn of grass, ants will want to feed on those nutrients and grass.

How Do Ants Affect Your Lawn?

Ant Hills are one of the major reasons that an ant infestation is a problem for you and your lawn. The soil from the tunnels is used to create these slopes, which are positioned away from their houses on top of the lawn.

Ant hills can make your grass uneven, making it difficult to walk or run on, and your mower may get trapped in large clumps of earth. The grass beneath these huge mounds may be harmed or killed, especially if the grass is trimmed short, as a result of a lack of sunlight or oxygen getting to it.

Ants, in addition to eating the grass, may also consume through the roots of it while constructing their nests and tunnels, leaving barren areas throughout your yard.

The presence of ants on your lawn may also result in an aphid infestation, as the ants breed the aphids so they can feed on Honeydew that the aphids produce. Aphids are a pest that can severely damage plants and vegetables in your garden. If they infest your area, it will be quite devastating.

Ants have a number of advantages as well. They tend to feed on other insects in your yard and garden, and ant hills can be beneficial by helping to aerate your grass. However, the disadvantages typically outweigh the benefits, which is why we advocate eradicating ants from your yard as soon as feasible.

What Types of Outdoor Ants Are There?

It is important to know that there are many types of ants that can infest your yard or garden. Let’s take a look at four of the most common ants that you might find around your lawn. These are Odorous Ants, Ghost Ants, Carpenter Ants, and Fire Ants.

Odorous Ants

The Odorous Ant, but also Stink Ant, Sugar Ant, and Coconut Ant, derives its name from the fact that, when squashed, these ants release a pungent odor. They are also attracted to sweet and sugary substances. Brown or black and 2.5 to 3.5mm in size, they have distinctive 12-segment antennae that make them very easy to identify.

These ants are quite robust. They are resistant to ant pesticides. They can also live for lengthy periods of time without food or water, and are likewise known to endure harsh weather conditions.

If you have these in your yard or on the grass, you’ll need an effective and intense ant bait program, and they like to live both in and outside, so you’ll need to act fast if you don’t want a home invasion on your hands.

Ghost Ants

The ghost ant is a translucent variety of ant that can be difficult to spot. The are about 1.5mm long on average, making them doubly difficult to detect and target.

They are species from the tropical zone, so be especially aware of these ants if you live in a climate that is sunnier and more humid, for example the southern regions of the United States. They are frequently seen in yards, under rocks and near log stacks, where they are very active. They may quickly establish numerous colonies underground, damaging lawns in the process.

An ant-killing chemical containing borax is an efficient approach to attract and destroy these tiny pests.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants are ants with huge bodies and wood shavings or sawdust around their nest. These ants are especially skilled at climbing and can infest any structure due to their durability, dexterity, and curiosity. They’re outdoor creatures that like nesting in and around wood. They prefer moist locations and are typically near decomposing trees or stumps, so they may choose to reside near your home, especially if you keep wood accessible.

If you detect that you have a carpenter ant infestation, it’s crucial to do so as soon as possible – they might burrow through the foundations of your home or patio if you leave them (assuming it’s made of wood). The expense of repairing carpenter ants’ damage is significantly higher than purchasing a powerful ant killer.

Trimming branches and limbs of trees and shrubs that touch your property is one approach to get rid of carpenter ants. Locate the damp, woody habitats where they nest and eliminate or treat them.

Fire Ants

Fire Ants are known as the worst ants of the lot. They have terrible stings and bites that can hurt like mad, and they live in huge colonies with thousands of ants, so they will be difficult to get rid of if they get to their full size. Some people experience an allergic reaction that can be deadly, so when dealing with these pests, you must avoid being harmed.

It’s not unusual for the fire ants to strip away insulation and electrical wiring in order to find food. As is the same with carpenter ants, if fire ants are left alone, they’ll most likely come indoors, increasing your risk of being bitten or stung.

The fire ant colonies are generally located deep underground. You’ll notice them by the fluffy soil around their nest and the absence of a center door. If you detect these insects, you must act immediately to eliminate the colony using any of the methods and products described below.

Homemade and DIY Solutions

There are a whole host of DIY ant killing solutions that you might want to try before buying a chemical ant killer. These include pouring boiling water over and down into their colonies and nests, or pouring a concoction of olive oil and soapy water or white vinegar into the same places.

You can also sprinkle dry, granulated ingredients around their homes, such as baby powder, chilies or chili powder, and/or salt.

We have an article with a long list of natural solutions to an outdoor ant problem.

How To Get Rid Of Ant Hills

Ant hills are another issue to be concerned about, especially if they get quite huge and pose a tripping as well as a mowing danger.

Raking may help if you only have a small number of ants and ant hills. Raking out the hilltops to spread out the dirt will scatter the ants and prevent mounds from growing too tall and hard.

During the spring and summer, you should do this at least once a week. It won’t keep the ants from nesting in your yard, but it may force enough of them to relocate to another location and make it more difficult for them to survive with fewer numbers.

What Are The Types of Outdoor Ant Killing Products?

The vast majority of ant killing products come as liquid spray killers or ant baits, which can either be liquid or solid.


The purpose of a spray treatment is to kill the ant as soon as it comes into contact with it. These treatments are often successful against a broad range of insects, from ants to cockroaches to termites, and they’re frequently used in larger quantities.

Sprays are effective for a longer duration of time than bait. In certain cases, a spray may be effective for three months or more. They’re also much easier to produce than baits, and they may be significantly less expensive.

It’s a lot easier to apply the spray precisely where the ants are known to travel since all you have to do is put it where they frequent. Another spot to spray is if the ants are always rummaging through the garbage cans or around wood piles.

The disadvantage is that sprays only kill ants that are out and about, rather than those who are hidden inside the mound. Spraying around the mound does not guarantee that you will wipe out the colony because you must capture the queen first.


A bait killer is one you leave around in spaces where you’ve seen ants. The ant then either crawls over the bait, or eats or takes some of the food that is offered there, and then brings that bait back to their colony. A bait killer tends to kill more slowly than a spray, because it relies on them bringing it back and slowly working its way through the nest.

These types of bait are also more short-lived than spray killers, because they could be washed away by rain or broken down by the sun’s rays.

Liquid And Gel Baits

A sweet solution is used as an attractant in liquid or gel baits. Gel baits are mixed with a syringe and may be used to target difficult-to-reach fissures and crannies that standard traps or granules could not reach.

Granules and Dust Baits

Granules are a fat/protein bait that’s scattered across your lawn. A dust bait such as Diatomaceous Earth is a dry powder that’s sprinkled around your garden. These kill ants and other insects by drying out their exoskeletons. For non-household uses, we would recommend choosing granules over DE for the reason that most of the DE is washed away by rain.

How To Use Ant Bait

The best way to use bait is by placing some on the ground where they’re crawling or marching around outside during day light hours when they’re more active – usually after rainstorms as well as before it rains again so that rain doesn’t wash away the food scent trail leading back to their nest which will attract new pests into a treated area.

Other Considerations

Affected Area

The quantity of ant killer required depends on the number of locations you wish to treat. If you have a large yard, you’ll need a large bucket like an ant killer that is inexpensive. Otherwise, you may accomplish your task with 6/12 station ant baits.

Killing Speed

Ant killers kill ants when they come in contact with them, whereas ant killers kill ants. You can pick one depending on your needs.

Environment And Pet Safety

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly solution that isn’t harmful to birds, animals, pets, or other insects, consider making your own DIY solution rather than getting a chemical one.

Top 6 Outdoor Ant Killers For Lawn And Garden

After learning about the different types of outdoor ant killers and how they work to get rid of ants in your lawn, let’s take a look at some of the best options on the market.

It’s important that you use the right product in order to eliminate your issue quickly! Our list below will help guide you through what types of ant killers there are currently available, as well as how they work.

#1. Ortho Fire Ant Killer

Ortho Fire Ant Killer Broadcast Granules, 6 Month Protection, Treats up to 5,000 sq. ft., Kills Mounds in 15 Minutes, 11.5 lb.
  • Ortho Fire Ant Killer Broadcast Granules target and kill fly-in queens to prevent new mounds from forming for 6 months of outdoor fire ant protection
  • FAST ACTING: This outdoor fire ant killer will kill fire ant mounds in 15 minutes so you can get back to enjoying your lawn
  • PROTECT THE GROUND: Treat the entire lawn area to protect your lawn from fire ants that may come from neighboring areas
  • EASY TO APPLY: Use a drop or broadcast spreader to apply, and water in as directed; one 11.5-lb. bag treats up to 5,000 sq. ft. of residential lawn
  • USE AS PART OF ORTHO 2-STEP SYSTEM: First, destroy existing mounds, including their queens, with Ortho Orthene Fire Ant Killer1 (sold separately); then, use Ortho Fire Ant Killer Broadcast Granules to control new mounds from forming for up to 6 months

Our number one option for an outdoor ant killer is the Ortho Fire Ant Killer. These are broadcast granules that you spread over your lawn and garden and will protect your outdoor spaces from fire ants for up to 6 months. It works quickly, killing mounds in 15 minutes, and it targets and kills the fly-in queens in order to prevent new mounds from forming for up to 6 months.

Each package of the Ortho Fire Ant killer weighs approximately 11.5 pounds and can cover an area of up to 5,000 square feet of lawn space.

It’s recommended that you apply this fire ant killer in the spring and during the late summer months to guarantee year-round protection. You can also treat the ground before an infestation arrives in order to protect it from future invasions from your neighbors lawns.

The first step in this approach destroys the ant hills, and the second step prevents future ants from returning. However, it’s also important to remember that a single treatment may not be enough to eliminate your fire ant colony.

#2. TERRO 1806 Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits

Terro 1806 Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits, 1.0 fl. oz. - 6 count
  • Kills the ants you see and the ants you don’t
  • Pre filled bait stations are ready to use
  • Contains sodium tetraborate decahydrate (Borax) (5.40%) and other ingredients (94.60%)
  • Flexible placement: in the ground using the stakes or on decks, or in garages or basements without using the stakes
  • Patented station protects the bait from the elements, prevents it from drying out

The TERRO 1806 Outdoor Liquid Ant Baits is another great ant killing option, with this one being a liquid bait trap that the ants walk in and drink from and bring back to their nests and fellow ants. The sweet liquid bait is ideal for large ant infestations, and it attracts and kills all the common ants in your house, including ghost ants, corn ants, pavement ants, acrobats, white-legged ants, odorous ants, and other sugar-eating ant species.

The technology behind this technique is to place liquid bait stations preloaded and ready to use in areas where the ants are observed, ensuring that the baits are within the fields specified. Ants follow well-worn paths from their nest to food or water, so placing ant baits along these routes will enhance control and the bait killer’s effectiveness.

This bait contains and uses borax to kills the ants, so be careful that other animals in your lawn don’t get too close to it. It has a patented shelter design that protects it from the weather and elements, so it can stay outdoors for a long period of time and eliminate more ants in the process.

#3. Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait Granules

Amdro 100099307 Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait Granules, 12 Ounces
  • Baits and kills ants outside before they come inside
  • Kills the queen and the entire colony
  • Kills fire ants, carpenter ants and 23 other ant species
  • Creates a barrier around your home for maximum protection from ants and lasts up to 3 months
  • Shake ant bait around the perimeter of your home to kill ants

The Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait is considered one of the most effective ways to kill ants that you don’t want coming into your home. These granules not only kill the ants, but they also entice them, causing them to come straight to it. Simply put, all you need to do is scatter these granules outside, and your ant infestations will vanish.

The queen and all of the ants in the colony are destroyed by this bait killer. It’s designed to entice and eliminate 25 different ant species, including odorous ants, carpenter ants, and fire ants.

To utilize this ant bait and killer, you must shake the granules around your home’s perimeter, until the bait has established a barrier between the ants and your home. Then the ants eat the bait, and then they are destroyed before they can reach the inside of your house.

Each 12 ounce bottle lasts three months, and the total length covered by one of these bottles is roughly 1080 linear feet. Most users will be able to use five applications from each bottle, which equals more than a year of protection.

#4. Safer 51703 Diatomaceous Earth Ant & Crawling Insect Killer

Safer Home SH51703 OMRI Listed Diatomaceous Earth - Ant, Roach, Bedbug, Flea, Silverfish, Earwig, & Crawling Insect Killer
  • Say Goodbye to Bugs – Kills a variety crawling insects including roaches, ants, fleas, silverfish, earwigs, bedbugs, and more
  • Attracts and Kills – Made from diatomaceous earth and selected baits, this powder causes insects to dehydrate and die within 48 hours after contact
  • Mechanical Killer – Unlike many traditional chemical insecticides, insects cannot build an immunity to diatomaceous earth
  • Use Where Insects Hide – DE can be used indoors or outdoors. Apply in cracks and crevices, along baseboards, or create a barrier around entry points
  • Peace of Mind – This powder is OMRI Listed and compliant for use in organic gardening so you can use it without worry

The next ant killer on our list is the Safer 51703 Diatomaceous Earth Ant & Crawling Insect Killer. In addition to being a highly effective ant killer, the Safer DE also eliminates a wide variety of crawling and flying insects, like cockroaches, bed bags, crickets, millipedes, centipedes, and fleas. This is a great choice for insect control for all insects, and it comes at a reasonable price. It is also safe for children and pets, when used as directed on the label.

The Safer DE kills both ants and other insects within 48 hours by ingestion and dehydration. It has a formula that contains 100% Diatomaceous Earth solution, and ants cannot develop an immunity to it, as they potentially can with other insect killers, so it will work effectively and quickly every time you use it.

This product comes in a 4 pound resealable bag, so you can store it for years and use it whenever necessary, and it can be used both inside your house and outside in your lawn and garden. Before using it, double-check the instructions to ensure that you follow them correctly, and be sure to cover any cracks and holes where the ants may try and go into.

#5. TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Killer

TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Killer, 12 Bait Stations
  • Attracts & Kills – Kills common household ants including acrobat, crazy, ghost, little black, odorous house, pavement, and other sweet-eating ants
  • Kills the Ants You See & the Ones You Don't – As worker ants discover the bait, they share it with the rest of the colony to eliminate them all
  • Works Fast – You should see a significant decrease in the number of ants visiting the bait stations within just a few days
  • Ready to Use – Place the bait stations, watch it attract ants, and eliminate the entire colony
  • Use Throughout Your Home – Place stations near areas where you’ve seen ant activity including along baseboards, in corners, on counters, and more

The TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Killer is another great liquid ant killer, and it comes with 12 bait stations. You can use these all at once to really crack down on a massive infestation, or stagger your use of them to get longer lasting protection. These stations come pre-filled and ready to use, and they are able to kill any of the common types of both indoor and outdoor ants that you might have in your home.

Simply snap off the tab and set these bait stations down along the paths where the ants are most commonly seen – it really is that easy. The patented design keeps the bait from drying out, so you can leave them out for far longer than products from comparable brands.

The bait kills the ants with borax, which interferes with the ants’ digestive systems, killing it from the inside. The ants have enough time to go back to their colony and share the liquid bait, which then eliminates the entire colony very quickly.

#6. Advance 375a Select Granular Ant Killer

Advance 375a Select Granular Ant Bait - 8 oz. ant Killer,ant Poison
  • Uses food attractant ants love
  • Works on wide range of ant species
  • Easy to apply
  • Treatments last several weeks
  • Weather resistant

The Advance 375a Select Granular Ant Killer is a granular ant bait that kills any of a long list of common household and outdoor ants. It uses a food attractant that ants can’t help but go and eat, and then uses Abamectin to kill those ants, as well as the ants in the nests that the other ants brought the bait back for.

This product is incredibly easy to apply to your lawn and garden, and each treatment lasts for several weeks at a time. It is also weather resistant, so inclement weather won’t waste all of your time and effort.


Ants can cause harm to your lawn by eating up the nutrients of grasses with their own droppings or they themselves may eat away at roots and stems. This can result in bald patches throughout your yard, which is not aesthetically pleasing and can be dangerous because it’s more susceptible to erosion from rainwater runoff. To prevent this problem you need to control ants before they start causing damage!

We have written this article in the hope that you were able to glean some useful information from it. Additionally, we have listed the best outdoor ant killers currently on the market, with our top recommendation being the Ortho Fire Ant Killer. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch! We would be happy to help in any way we can. All the best with your ant elimination adventure!

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Written by Linda Chan
Linda Chan is a passionate gardener and writer with a background in horticulture and landscape design. She has over 10 years of experience working in the lawn care industry and has a deep understanding of the science and art of keeping a lawn healthy and beautiful.