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

Do you have ants walking around your home? They might be relatively harmless pests but are quite annoying and persistent. Also, where there is one ant, many will follow. Fortunately, there is a quick and effective solution to your ant problem. Using an ant spray will quickly and effectively kill ants instantly and on the spot.

How effective are ant sprays? Ants sprays are very effective and kill ants instantly on the spot. Thanks to the residual effect, most ant sprays also provide long term protection for the area where the spray was applied. The residual effect from an ant spray can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to up to several months.

Usually how ant problems take a thing for the worse is when people see a few ants and ignore them. Next thing you know, there is a whole army of them marching through the kitchen. Where did they come from?

Being so tiny, ants have no problems finding the smallest holes, cracks, and crevices to enter your home. They venture in search of food and if they find any, they will leave a pheromone trail for the others to follow.

This is where an ant spray comes in handy, it will kill the ants that are already inside on the spot before they get the chance to leave their pheromone trail. In addition, most ant sprays provide a residual effect, meaning that it will continue to work for at least several days upon applying.

Not all ant sprays are the same. Some of them are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, while others can’t be used inside. There are also safety measures you should take into account in order to avoid health hazards. In the following sections you will find the best ant sprays for both indoor and outdoor use, as well as more useful information on how to use them safely. Let’s start!

Review: Top 3 Best Indoor Ant Sprays

When choosing an ant spray to use inside your house, make sure that 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 and Roach Killer Outdoor Fresh, 17.5 OZ, 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...

This classic Raid Ant & Roach Killer is everything you need to instantly get rid of ants. Its main active ingredients are two common chemical pesticides called cypermethrin and imiprothrin, which will kill ants immediately on 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 make sure that you spray according to the guidelines, do not inhale or ingest the substance, and wash your hands after use.

Ortho Home Defence MAX

Ortho 0221310 Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter 2 Ready-to-Use, 24 oz
  • Up to 12-month protection (against ants, roaches and spiders...
  • Kills all common listed household bugs (refer to product label...
  • Non-staining, odor-free and dries fast
  • Long lasting bug barrier
  • Ready-to-use 24 oz. sprayer for small areas or 1 gal....

When you are looking for an effective and quick solution to your ant problem, Ortho Home Defence MAX is a perfect choice. 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.

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 for killing different types of ants, but keep in mind, it does not work against fire ants, pharoah ants, and harvester ants. To apply, shake the bottle well and spray directly on ants, on the surfaces where you have seen them, as well as 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 really annoying in your garden but thankfully, Adams Plus Yard Spray will help you get rid of them. Thanks to the active ingredient Permethrin, this spray offers up to four weeks of protection. With one bottle, you can treat up to 5000 square feet of land and you can also use this product on your lawn, trees, shrubs, and flowers.

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.

Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray Concentrate

This backyard spray will keep carpenter ants and harvester ants away from your yard for up to 12 weeks. This means you can actually spend a whole summer without having to worry about ants!

Keep in mind though, that the Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray is effective only for these types of ants (but in addition, will provide protection against mosquitos and flees).

You can cover up to 5000 square meters with one bottle and it is super easy to use. Just attach 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

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To instantly kill ants outside of your house, look no further than 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 or your house, and in any areas where you have seen ants, especially those that are hard to reach. It will not only kill the ants that are already there but also 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 the use.

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

It is important to know how to properly use ant sprays since they contain chemical 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, there are several things to consider.

Because most ant sprays contain chemical insecticides, you should always avoid inhaling or ingesting them. It is best if you exit the room after applying, and then air it completely before re-entering. Always wash your hands after using ant sprays.

Remember to never apply the ant spray near food, water containers, or on areas where you prepare and handle food.

Tips for Using Ant Sprays Outdoors

For outdoor use, the most important rule you need to remember is to never apply the product when rain is expected in the next 24 hours.

Rain will wash away the pesticide and lower its efficiency. Spray in good weather, and 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 of the product.

Ant Sprays | Information

In this section, we will answer all your common questions and concerns about ant sprays.

Is Ant Spray Harmful to Humans?

In general, ant sprays are not harmful to humans, that is if you follow safety precautions and use them with care.

Most of the products nowadays have a very low percentage of the active ingredients so they should not pose any danger to humans (unless you are exposed to the product for longer periods of time). 

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 on a larger surface. Even if you are using 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.

The smell of the ant sprays can be unpleasant to some people and lead to coughing, sneezing, or general discomfort. If this is the case, choose an odor-less spray such as some of our suggestions above. Just remember, always follow the instructions on the label and if you notice any issue, discontinue using the product.

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 are applying an ant spray indoors, and wait for the room to be aired completely, 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 Carpet?

It is not recommended to use ant spray on a carpet. Most of the ant sprays have a residual effect that can last from several weeks to up to a few months.

This can be toxic for any children or pets you have in the house. Also, ant sprays can leave stains on the carpet and ruin it. If you absolutely 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, which can last from anywhere between several weeks to four months.

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 for 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 keep in mind 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, phenylethyl 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


In this article, we have provided you with everything you need to know about the best ant sprays for both indoor and outdoor use, recommendations about the most effective products, and some useful tips on how to use ant sprays safely.

Ants sprays can be a powerful ally in your mission to eliminate the ants in and around your home. Just remember to always use them with caution and according to the instructions.

In case you are having a serious ant infestation, it would be best to call a professional pest control service. Click on the following link if you are interested, and you will get free quotes from the best ant exterminators in your area. Best of luck!