Best Ant Sprays for Indoor and Outdoor Use | Review & Tips

Written by George Climer | checkbox Reviewed by Articles on Pest Samurai undergo a rigorous evaluation process by our Science Editors. Each article is scrutinized prior to publication and upon significant updates. Learn more about Pest Samurai Editorial Process. Steve Vanatta

Ants might be relatively harmless pests but are quite annoying and persistent. Fortunately, there is a quick and effective solution to your ant problem. Using one of the proven best ant sprays will quickly and effectively eliminate ants from the infected area.

Here are the best sprays you can use to get rid of ants indoors or outdoors:

Top 6 Ant Killers

Best Ant Sprays for Indoor Use

Best Ant Sprays for Outdoor Use

In the following sections, we will be elaborating how these products work, their effectiveness, and the safety measures you need to take to protect your children and pets while killing ants. Read further for more!

Review: Top 3 Best Indoor Ant Sprays

When choosing an ant spray inside your house, ensure it is specifically suitable for indoor use. Here are our recommendations for the best indoor ant sprays that will help you get rid of ants in a timely manner:

Raid Ant & Roach Killer

Raid Ant & Roach Killer Spray for Listed Bugs, Insect, Spider, For Indoor Use, Fresh Scent, 12 Oz, Pack of 12
  • Raid Ant & Roach kills a wide variety of insects including...
  • Kills on contact and keeps killing with residual action for up to...
  • Ant & Roach spray with no lingering chemical odor
  • Easy-to-use ant & roach killer that can be applied to surfaces...
  • Retreat with ant & roach killer every 4 weeks as necessary to...

This classic Raid Ant & Roach Killer is everything you need to get rid of ants instantly. Its main active ingredients are two common chemical pesticides called cypermethrin and imiprothrin, which will kill ants immediately upon contact.

This spray is very easy to use. Just shake the can, hold it upright, and spray from about 18 inches from the surface where the ants are. It will kill them on contact, and thanks to the residual effect, it will continue to protect the area for up to four weeks after spraying.

Another great advantage of Raid Ant & Roach Killer is that the smell is minimal and fades away quickly. But it should not be used near pets, children, food, and dishes. Always ensure you spray according to the guidelines, do not inhale or ingest the substance, and wash your hands after use.

Ortho Home Defence MAX

Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter2, Controls Ants, Roaches, Spiders, and More, 24 fl. oz.
  • Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter2 is a bug...
  • Provides a long-lasting bug barrier of up to 12 month protection...
  • Apply this pesticide anytime as a preventative treatment or after...
  • Use this pest control spray with confidence indoors (kitchens,...
  • The easy-to-use trigger sprayer let's you apply with a squeeze of...

Ortho Home Defense MAX is a perfect choice when looking for an effective and quick solution to your ant problem. It will kill ants on contact and offer long-lasting protection against their return (up to 12 months on non-porous surfaces).

It works great for various ant species, including carpenter ants, fire ants, argentine ants, pharaoh ants, pyramid ants, pavement ants, and red/western harvester ants. Not only that, but this product can also work against 130+ different insects.

Ortho Home Defence MAX is odor-free, dries in seconds, and leaves no residue, so you can quickly re-apply if needed. You can use it anywhere inside the house, but do not use it near food preparation areas or where water can be contaminated, and always wash your hands after use.

Hot Shot Ant Killer Plus

Hot Shot Ant Killer Plus Aerosol, Unscented, Kills On Contact
  • KILLS A VARIETY OF ANTS: Kills Argentine, southern, field,...
  • KILLS ON CONTACT: Hot Shot Ant Killer Plus aerosol kills on...
  • ALSO KILLS COMMON HOUSEHOLD INSECTS: Also kills cockroaches,...
  • FOR INDOOR AND OUTDOOR USE: Spray Hot Shot Ant Killer Plus both...
  • AEROSOL SPRAY: This water-based, unscented formula leaves no oily...

Forget about annoying ants walking around your home. Instead, use Hot Shot Ant Killer Plus to kill them immediately and prevent them from returning for up to 4 months.

The water-based formula of Hot Spot Ant Killer Plus is unscented and leaves no residue. Its active ingredients are permethrin and tetramethrin, these are well-known and very effective insecticides.

The spray can be used inside the house to kill different types of ants, but it does not work against fire ants, pharaoh ants, and harvester ants. To apply, shake the bottle well and spray directly on ants, on the surfaces where you have seen them, and in places where they might hide.

Review: Top 3 Best Outdoor Ant Sprays

If you are struggling with ants outside on your lawn or patio, you can use an outdoor ant spray to eliminate them. The following are some of the outdoor ant killer sprays that we recommend:

Adams Plus Yard Spray

Adams Plus Yard Spray | Kills Mosquitoes, Fleas, Ticks, Ants, And Many Other Listed Nuisance Pests in Outdoor Areas | Treats Up to 5,000 Square Feet | Easy To Use Hose-End Spray | 32 Fl Oz
  • KILLS TICKS - Kills Deer ticks that may carry Lyme Disease
  • KILLS OVER 50 LISTED INSECTS - Kills fleas, Japanese beetles,...
  • 4-WEEK CONTROL - Contains Permethrin, a long-lasting insecticide...
  • HOSE END SPRAYER - Hooks easily to garden hoses providing...
  • MULTIPURPOSE USES - Perfect for use in yards and other outdoor...

Ants can be annoying in your garden, but Adams Plus Yard Spray will help you eliminate them. Thanks to the active ingredient permethrin, this spray offers up to four weeks of protection.

Before you use it for the first time, snap off the tab on top of the sprayer and shake well (with the control lever in the OFF position). Then attach it to the water hose, turn on the water and the lever, and spray all over the area. For the best results, apply the treatment in good weather when no rain is expected.

You can treat up to 5,000 square feet of land with one bottle and use this product on your lawn, trees, shrubs, and flowers. Apply it on window frames, foundations, patios, wooden decks, and porches.

Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray Concentrate

This backyard spray will keep carpenter and harvester ants away from your yard for up to four weeks. This means you can spend a whole summer without worrying about ants—even after it rains.

Keep in mind, though, that the Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray contains the active ingredient, lambda-cyhalothrin, which is effective only for these types of ants. But in addition, it also protects against mosquitos and fleas.

You can cover up to 5,000 square meters with one bottle, which is super easy to use. Just attach it to your water hose, flip the switch, and spray around the garden or lawn. Use in calm weather when there is no rain expected in the next 24 hours.

Raid Ant & Roach Barrier Spray

Raid Ant and Roach Killer 17.5 Ounce (Pack of 3)
  • Kills on contact
  • Residual kill of ants and roaches works for up to four weeks
  • Leaves behind no lingering chemical odor
  • Has an Outdoor Fresh scent
  • Use with other Raid Defense System products to work smarter, not...

To instantly kill ants outside your house, you can use Raid Ant & Roach Barrier Spray. It is effective against all kinds of ants and will kill on contact thanks to the active ingredient Deltamethrin.

Use it to spray around doors and windows, the foundations of your house, and any areas where you have seen ants, especially those that are hard to reach. It will kill the already existing ants and prevent them from coming again.

Apply in good weather when no rain is expected. Remember to avoid contact with the skin and wash your hands after use. This product has residual action that can last up to 6 months after application!

How to Properly Use Ant Sprays: Instructions and Tips for Indoor and Outdoor Use

Knowing how to use ant sprays is essential since they contain toxic insecticides. Every product has safety precautions you should follow. Always make sure to read the label carefully and follow the exact instructions.

Tips for Using Ant Sprays Indoors

When you use ant sprays inside your home, here are some essential things to consider:

  • Because most ant sprays contain toxic insecticides, you should always avoid inhaling or ingesting them.
  • It is best to exit the room after applying and air it completely before re-entering.
  • Always wash your hands after using ant sprays.
  • Remember never to apply the ant spray near food, water containers, or on areas where you prepare and handle food.
  • For the best results, apply exclusion techniques such as sealing entry points and removing ant trails using soapy water or vacuuming.

Tips for Using Ant Sprays Outdoors

For outdoor use, here are some tips you should remember to effectively get rid of ants and prevent them from coming back:

  • Never apply the product when rain is expected in the next 24 hours. Even if the product is waterproof, you shouldn’t risk losing any of its effectiveness.
  • Spray in good weather; it is best if you apply it early in the morning when the ants are most active.
  • Again, avoid skin contact, inhaling and ingesting, and wash your hands after use. Keep your pets and children off the treated areas for at least a couple of hours or as per instructions labeled on the product.
  • When applying, do so around the foundation of your house, not just in your garden or yard, to prevent letting the ants inside.
  • Make sure you target the nest and the rest of the colony (especially the queen!) or else you won’t be achieving total elimination.

Ant Sprays | Information

This section will answer common questions and concerns about ant sprays:

Is Ant Spray Harmful to Humans?

No, not if you follow safety precautions, use and handle them with care, and read product labels accordingly. Most products nowadays have a very low percentage of active ingredients, so they should not pose any danger to humans (unless you are exposed to the product for extended periods). 

As we already mentioned, you should always avoid inhaling ant sprays, and it is a good idea to wear a mask, especially if you are applying it on a larger surface. Even if you use a natural ant spray (based on citronella or orange oil), they can be hard on the lungs if inhaled.

Avoid all contact with skin and eyes, as the active ingredients in ant sprays, can cause irritation or allergy reactions. If there is contact with the ant spray, wash the area on your body thoroughly with water, and if the irritation worsens, contact your health care practitioner.

Can Ant Spray Harm Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets?

Can Ant Spray Harm Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets

It is better to restrain yourself from using an ant spray near dogs, cats, and other pets. Even though the toxicity of the main ingredients in most ant sprays is low for humans, it can affect pets differently.

Keep your pet out of the room if you apply an ant spray indoors, and wait for the room to be aired before letting them in again. If you are applying an ant spray outdoors, wait for at least several hours before you let your pet on the lawn or other areas where you have applied the treatment.

Can You Spray Ant Spray on the Carpet?

It is not recommended to use ant spray on a carpet. Most ant sprays have a residual effect that can last from several weeks to up to a few months, still killing ants and other pests in the process.

This can be toxic for any children or pets in the house. Also, ant sprays can leave stains on the carpet and ruin it. If you need to use an ant spray on a carpet, choose one with a water-based formula and without scent.

How Does Ant Spray Work?

Most of the ant sprays work on contact. This means that they will kill the ants instantly upon spraying. In addition, the residual effect continues to work in the long term and keeps ants from coming back. The duration is different for different products and depends on the type and concentration of the active ingredient.

How Long to Wait After Spraying?

How Long to Wait After Spraying

If you are spraying indoors and especially on larger areas, close all doors and windows, spray the affected areas, leave the room, and wait for 2 hours. Then open all windows and wait until the room is well-ventilated before re-entering.

When spraying outdoors, wait at least 3 to 6 hours before letting your kids and pets on your lawn. Avoid walking barefoot on the sprayed grass before it dries out completely as ant sprays can cause skin irritation after contact.

Generally, the period depends on the type of treatment and the area being treated, so follow the recommendations on the label for the exact time you should wait after applying ant sprays.

What Is in Ant Spray? | List of Common Chemicals/Insecticides


The largest class of insecticides used in ant sprays are called pyrethroids. If you see a listed ingredient ending in -thrin, this is an indicator that it is a pyrethroid. Some of the most common examples are Permethrin, Cypermethrin, Imiprothrin, Deltamethrin, and so on.

These chemical insecticides mimic pyrethrins (botanical insecticides derived from chrysanthemum). They work by paralyzing and eventually killing the ants, as well as various other insects.

Pyrethroids and pyrethrins are considered much safer than other alternatives. But remember that they are highly toxic to aquatic organisms so do not use them near water or in case of a possible runoff.

Related: What Chemicals do Exterminators Use for Ants?


It is common for ant sprays to use naturally occurring substances as active ingredients. Some of these include limonene, thyme oil, phenylmethyl propionate, capsicum oleoresin (hot pepper extract), cinnamaldehyde, eugenol (clove oil), neem oil, linalool (from mint and citrus plants), and allyl isothiocyanate (a garlic extract).

You can use sprays with these ingredients to treat food preparation areas, as they are generally considered safe. But as with all sprays and aerosols, do not inhale due to possible health issues.

Related: Best Natural Ant Sprays | Kids and Pet-Friendly Sprays