Ants are one of the most common pests in our backyards or gardens. While they might be insignificant and small, those hard-working creatures would be a source of concern when they invade your outdoor space, particularly during the summer. If you are dealing with an ant issue, frustration would quickly turn to desperation after trying many natural products and repellents. Fortunately, all you need is an ant killer. I’ve rounded up below a list of top 5 best options available on the UK market and some useful tips to choose the right one for your garden.
Why should you use an ant killer in the garden?
You might be surprised to know that there are up to 12,000 ant species in the world. While many of them are harmless, others are the culprits of many issues in your garden and household. For instance, carpenter ants can grow quickly and cause serious damages to wooden structures around. From fence and patio to garage and gazebo, those small creatures would cost you a fortune. That’s why every gardener should get rid of them with an ant killer.
Another type of ant called fire ants could be very invasive and can actually bite humans. They would also be very deadly to some small insects that are necessary for your garden. What makes them an annoying pest is that they would multiply quickly with thousands of ants in each colony. The quickest way to prevent them from hurting yourself and other people is to use ant killers or other organic pest control methods.
Key considerations and key features to look for when purchasing ant killer
If this is the first time you look for an ant killer, here are a few decisive factors to look for:
a) Types of ant killers
The best type for your garden will depend on your purposes.
- Bait stations are the most common forms for killing ants. They often come with pre-packaged liquid packages. Once the ants consume the bait, their digestive system will be damaged by the active ingredients. This option is ideal for hard-to-reach areas such as concrete slabs, under the floor, in door and window frames.
- Ant sprays are ideal for seasonal ant issues. They can provide quick results and are simple to use. However, the effects are just temporary and without significant impact on the ant nests.
- For eco-friendly and organically-minded gardeners, powder ant killers are the best option. They mostly used diatomaceous earth, which contains marine phytoplankton’s remains. When applying, the powder will stick to the insect’s exoskeleton and kill them.
b) Effective range
A common selling point for many ant killers is the estimated killing range. It would be measured in meters, square feet, or acres. A higher range means that you can eliminate more ants with little application. While this can benefit you with a spacious area, there won’t be much different for smaller backyards. Thus, make sure to check the area of your garden before deciding to purchase one.
Make sure to read the labels and list of ingredients before deciding. If you have pets and children, an ant killer with organic or natural elements might be safer to use. In case you want a powerful yet more harmful option, read the instructions to use the product properly. Also, keep yourself informed about the active duration and weather conditions that would affect the effectiveness of the product.
Top 5 best ant killer reviews
1. Home Defence Pack of 4 Ant Baits Destroy Nests and Ants
This set of ant baits from Home Defence is a go-to solution to those who want an effective product. With Borax and many other powerful ingredients, it can destroy both ants and their infested nests at the same time. The baits come in a pack of 4 pieces. The application is simple as you only need to cut off the top with scissors and put it in an area where you see lots of ants. However, be careful to avoid those spots where your pets or children would approach.
Keep in mind that the baits need time to penetrate the digestive system of the ants. In general, you might see results in a few days or no more than one week. Compared to liquid or powder products, there will be no mess or smell when you apply this ant killer. With complete elimination, the results would last many months before these creatures would come back to your garden in a new season
What I like about it:
- Package includes 4 bait stations
- Destroy both ants and nests
- Easy to use
- Quick and long-lasting results
- No mess or smell to deal with
2. Vitax 150g Nippon Powder Ant Killer
The Vitax ant killer is an inexpensive yet highly efficient product to control black ants around your garden. It contains nearly 0.5% of permethrin, an active ingredient that can completely eliminate pests and insects. In addition to ants, gardeners can use it to get rid of earwigs, beetles, woodlice, or cockroaches to protect their veggies and flowers. The product is ideal for both outdoor and indoor applications.
All ingredients are totally safe, so pets and children won’t need to be excluded from the working areas. The results are long-lasting, with the controlling effects in nearly 6 months. You can easily dust the powder along the ant runs, crevices, cracks, and other spots where those species can invade your properties such as door frames or doorsteps. This can be very useful and ensure all of the ants in the colony is completely removed.
What I like about it:
- Kill ants, cockroaches, earwigs, beetles, and more
- Results last up to 6 months
- Ideal for both outdoor and indoor use
- Safe for both pets and children
- Available in many capacity options
3. Defenders Insect and Ant Powder Killer 450 Grams
Featuring a smart puffer design, the Defenders ant ready-to-use powder killer is ideal for controlling and killing those annoying creatures. The powerful active ingredient permethrin enables gardeners to treat up to 25 square meters and get rid of all insects and pests. The results are incredibly quick as the product can kill ants right on contact. Just keep in mind to wash your hands carefully after each use.
You can easily use them for crevice and crack treatment in a variety of areas, such as gardens, patios, or homes. The bottle is specially designed for easy storage and distribution. Application is simple thanks to the provided instructions in the package. With high-quality and premium ingredients, you can be sure about the safety in use. The product comes ready to use with a capacity of 450 grams, which is enough to use for a long-lasting period.
What I like about it:
- Ideal for crevice and crack treatment
- Easy to apply for gardeners
- Puffer bottle design for easy storage and distribution
- Quick results and kill ant on contact
- Contain powerful permethrin ingredient
4. Maxforce LN Ant Killer Outdoor & Indoor Bait Traps
This ready-to-use bait station by Maxforce is specifically created for the control of most common ant species in your garden. It is a perfect blend of honey and sugar, along with Imidacloprid, to attract and eliminate pests effectively. After 1 or 2 weeks of treating, you can be sure all of the ants will be totally eradicated from your property. The product can be used both outdoors and indoors, and great for sensitive spots.
It is simple to use the product just by snapping off the arms and leave holes for pests to penetrate. Leave the bait for 1 week or more to ensure better results. The product comes with 3 sets for both amateur and professional use. Instructions are provided to ensure long-term, discreet, and convenient control. Avoid using the trap on flowerbeds, lawns, or soil to prevent your plants from being affected.
What I like about it:
- Long-term and discreet control option
- Combine honey and sugar to attract ants naturally
- Complete eradication in 1 or 2 weeks
- Simple to use with provided instructions
- Ideal for around buildings, outdoors, and indoors
5. Buysmart 5-Litre Ready-To-Use Ant Killer Watering Can
A quick-acting insecticide combined with disinfectant, the Buysmart ant killer can provide long-lasting results in up to 3 months. You can use this product to protect against ants and other common garden insects, such as ticks, moths, centipedes, beetles, or cockroaches. The application could be made to both non-porous and porous surfaces in outdoor and indoor spaces.
The package comes with a unique watering can for immediate use. Thanks to the advanced micro-emulsion formula, this ant killer would allow for effective and fast results. The capacity of the can is up to 5 litres, which is sufficient to treat up to 50 square meters. All ingredients are safe and carefully tested, with a small amount of deltamethrin to deliver a powerful performance.
What I like about it:
- Results last in 3 months
- Prepare quickly with a provided watering can
- Large capacity for long-lasting use
- Treat a variety of insects
- Effective and quick results at the contact
Frequently asked questions
How to make ant killer with Boric acid?
Making ant killer with Boric acid is ridiculously easy:
- Add 1 tsp Boric acid powder, 3 tbsp white sugar and 1 1/3 cup of warm water to a measuring cup.
- Stir to dissolve the sugar and Boric acid.
- Pour the mixture into small containers, with a piece of cotton wool or tissue.
- Leave these in the places where you notice the most ant activity – don’t disturb their main feeding places or chances are they will ignore the bait and you’ll have to start all over again!
How to make home made ant killer?
Ants really don’t like vinegar, so using a solution of cider vinegar mixed with water in a spray bottle is a simple solution.
Liquid dish soap mixed with water and sprayed directly onto the ants is another easy tip.
Mixing 1 part baking soda with 1 part sugar will also work; leave little dishes of this around where the ants congregate, and you should see results quickly.
Diatomaceous earth is a very simple solution; all you need to do is to sprinkle it around where you see ants. They don’t even have to eat it; it dries them from the outside in, killing a whole colony fairly quickly.
Tea tree essential oil mixed with water in a spray bottle will both deter and kill ants.
Boiling water is a tried and tested method for killing ants; the most effective way is to find the nest and pour in large quantities of boiling water. Keep your legs covered to avoid being splashed, and take care to not spill any water on yourself.
Are there any ant solutions that don’t involve death?
If you have ants in your house but you don’t want to kill them, you can relatively easily get rid of them.
Ants leave scented trails out for other ants to follow, so by washing and sanitising all the surfaces you see them on, you can discourage them. This is quite intensive, and you may find yourself washing surfaces several times a day, but it is a good long term fix.
Spreading out scents that ants don’t like is another good solution; you can try spices such as pepper, cloves, bay leaves, chilli flakes, sage, cucumber peels or used coffee grounds.
Essential oils have a good track record for getting rid of ants – peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender will work well when applied to the points that the ants are entering the house.
You can also try blocking up the entrances that ants use to get into your house, but they can be very small and hard to find!
Keep all food covered up and make sure to wipe up any spills Ants may be attracted to the smells of et food if it is left out too, so make sure pet food dishes are washed regularly.