4 Best Lawn Insect Killers (Buying Guide)

gardener-4150793_1920

Lawn insects are generally not lethal to humans, but they are to our lawns!

While their presence may start out rather innocuous, and consist of mostly annoying you and your pets, a lawn infestation can quickly turn into a nightmare – costing you money and making your yard unenjoyable.

Take back control and kill lawn insects before they take over.

Today, there are hundreds of insecticide options that will protect your yard from lawn insects.

Different types of insect killers are available in the market to help fight off lawn insects. Spray-based insecticides are generally easy to use and do not leave behind any harmful residues or smells. 

There are hundreds of products in the market, but we have put together a curated list of the best lawn insect killers for your consideration.

Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer For Lawns...
Bonide (BND60360) - Insect and Grub Control, Outdoor...
BioAdvanced 700280B Complete Insect Killer for Soil &...
Product
Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer
Bonide Insect and Grub
Bayer Advanced Insect Killer
Coverage
12,500 square feet/ 10 Pound Bag
Soil and surface protection for up to 3 months
5,000 sq ft
Quantity
10-Pound
6 Lb
32-Ounce
Type
Granules
Granules
Liquid Spray
Prime Status
Number of Amazon Reviews
146 Reviews
41 Reviews
348 Reviews
Stars Ratings
Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer For Lawns...
Product
Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer
Coverage
12,500 square feet/ 10 Pound Bag
Quantity
10-Pound
Type
Granules
Prime Status
Number of Amazon Reviews
146 Reviews
Stars Ratings
Bonide (BND60360) - Insect and Grub Control, Outdoor...
Product
Bonide Insect and Grub
Coverage
Soil and surface protection for up to 3 months
Quantity
6 Lb
Type
Granules
Prime Status
Number of Amazon Reviews
41 Reviews
Stars Ratings
BioAdvanced 700280B Complete Insect Killer for Soil &...
Product
Bayer Advanced Insect Killer
Coverage
5,000 sq ft
Quantity
32-Ounce
Type
Liquid Spray
Prime Status
Number of Amazon Reviews
348 Reviews
Stars Ratings

Another option is granular insecticides. Granular formulations provide efficient pest control but require a spreader to distribute over your lawn.

You will also need to decide between organic and chemical lawn insect killers. While organic products are generally considered less potent, they pose a much lower risk of doing harm to you, your pets, and the environment.

Our List of the Best Lawn Insect Killers

1. Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer

Best Granular

  • Odorless and leaves no residue
  • Kills insects on first contact
  • Effective for the whole season
  • Eliminates insects from above and underground
  • Hazardous to aquatic life
  • Not effective during rainy season

Spectracide is our topic pick. It is manufactured by United Industries Corporation–an American company providing a wide range of insecticides and pesticides.

Other than Spectracide, United Industries Corporation’s other brands include: Repel, Hot Shot, Garden Safe, Liquid Fence, Black Flag and Cutter. All of their garden care products are made for either killing lawn insect or providing weed control.

Spectracide Triaze Insect killer granules is hands down one of the best selling products intended for killing lawn insects.

Spectracide Triaze eliminates more than 100 different types insects including ants, crickets, armyworms, cutworms, grubs, ticks and many others – including underground insects.

It does not damage plants and grass and can be safely used on lawns, orchards, shrubs and around house foundations. It can cover up to 12,500 square feet of area with a single bag.

Although there is no such thing as an ideal temperature for applying Spectracide Triaze, it is advised by the manufacturer to use this product between July and October.

How It Works

The active ingredient present is Spectracide Triazicide insect killer is Cyhalothrin, which is known for its excellent insect killing properties.

According to the United States’ National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), Chyalothrin works by disrupting the functioning of the nervous system in insects and leads to paralysis or death.

How To Use

Granule insecticides are very simply to apply. Once reading the instructions provided on the label, granules can be uniformly spread around the treatment area and water should be applied lightly immediately after application. Once dried and absorbed into the soil, Spectracide Triaze won’t harm your pets or children who love to play in the garden. For even distribution of the granules you will need a granule or seed spreader. Also, as a quick tip, when using a seed spreader, avoid direct contact with the pesticide to lessen the chances of it getting into your eyes, nose or mouth. Spectracide is our number 1 lawn insect killer due to its excellent insect repelling properties. Most reviewers note that it has worked to keep insects out of their yard for more than 3 months. The small concentration of the active ingredient present in this product makes it not harmful for animals and humans after completely dying or getting absorbed into the ground. However, be mindful as it is still toxic in raw form. Also note that, as with most insecticides, Spectracide is toxic to fish and other aquatic life, and should not be spilled near bodies of water.

2. Bonide Insect & Grub Control Granules

Effective at Killing Grubs

  • Kills more than 40 types of insects on contact
  • Works above ground and underground
  • Leaves no residue
  • Safe for kids and pets once treated area is dried
  • Slightly toxic to aquatic life
  • Needs a spreader for even distribution

Bonide Insect & Grub Control is one of the best insect lawn granular killers and is manufactured by an international company known as Bonide Products. They have many products available in the market that are designed specifically for treating insects and pests.

This product is known to be effective for more than 40 types of insects including grubs craneflies, billbugs, chinch bugs, weevils, mole crickets, ticks, fleas, fire ants, cutworms, millipedes and many more. 

Another benefit of Bonide Insect & Grub Control is that you don’t need to apply it again and again; only one 6 lbs. bag is enough to kill insects both above and below the soil surface up to an area of 7,500 square feet.

The active ingredients in this product include Imidacloprid and Lambda-Cyhalothrin—both of which are EPA approved ingredients. While strong enough to kill lawn insects, these ingredients are used in minute quantities and make the product safe for your grass.

Generally, this product is not toxic to humans and pets. However, in case of prolonged direct contact with the product, there is a risk of slight irritation to the skin, throat, nose, and other body parts. 

Therefore, children and pets should be allowed in the lawn only once the product is completely dried and absorbed into the ground.

How To Use?

In order to use this product, you should buy a granule or seed spreader. You simply empty the bag of insecticide into the spreader and the granules can then be transferred to the soil without much of a hassle.

Once the product is evenly distributed, lightly water the area.

The product can be stored for later use by simply sealing the bag.

3. Bayer Complete Insect Killer for Soil and Turf

Ready To Spray

  • Kills insects on contact
  • Works above and below the ground
  • Contains some organic ingredients
  • Pet and children safe
  • Leaves no residue
  • Contains some organic ingredients but might be harmful upon inhalation
  • Very fast flow

Bayer Complete Insect killer is a liquid spray formulation manufactured by SBM Life Science Corporation, which is a prominent name in making lawn pest control products with organic & natural derivatives. SBM is known especially for making more than 100 lawn and garden care products. They sell over 15 million products on an annual basis and are highly active in research.

Bayer Complete Insect Killer for Soil and Turf is one of their best selling products. It is designed to target over 30 different types of lawn insects.

This product contains some natural ingredients with some chemical ingredients. The active ingredients present in this product are 

  • Imidacloprid – 0.72% 
  • Beta-cyfluthrin – 0.36%.

Both of which are known for effectively controlling both surface and underground insects including Ants, Fleas, Ticks, European Crane Fly Larvae, Grubs, Mole Crickets cut worms and many more.

This product is one of the fastest acting insecticides for outdoor usage. It works extremely fast and kills bugs and common lawns pests in 24 hours time.

It also provides ongoing protection for up to three months. It can treat up to an area of 5,000 square feet. This product can be used on grass and flowers but try to avoid using it around fruits and vegetables.

Although the chemicals used in this product are not generally harmful in small quantities, still avoid going into your lawn until the product completely dries off after application as it might end up causing you skin and respiratory irritation.

How To Use?

Bayer Complete Insect killer is a ready to spray product.

Simply attach the bottle to your hose according to the instructions on the label.

Once connected, the concentrate automatically mixes with the water as you spray.

4. EcoSmart Insect Granules

Organic Option

  • Kills over 100 types of crawling insects
  • 100% organic insecticide
  • 10 lbs. bag can cover 5,000 square feet of area
  • Safe for water supplies
  • No residue or smell
  • Not fast acting in comparison to chemical insecticides
  • Insect reappearance time not specified

EcoSMART Organic Insect killer is manufactured by an American company called EcoSMART, which specializes in making natural insecticides.Their products are completely organic and biodegradable, yet kill insects on contact.

All of their products are made with different plant oils and are known as being safe to use around children or pets. However, like other insecticides, they are toxic to aquatic life.

EcoSMART Organic as its name suggests is a natural insect killer with a minty scent. This pesticide is made of plant oils that help to fight off different crawling insects. 

We like this organic option as it provides defensive action against over 100 commonly found lawn insects including Mosquitoes, Ants, Armyworms, Billbugs, Bristletails, Centipedes, Chiggers, Chinch Bugs, Crickets, Cutworms, Fleas, Earwigs, Scorpions, Spiders, Ticks, Wireworms and many others.

How It Works?

The active ingredients present in EcoSMART are Eugenol – 2.9% and thyme oil – 0.6% along with many others. Such ingredients provide pest control by blocking octopamine receptors in the neural pathways that exist only in insects, thereby killing them on contact.

How To Use?

Since it is sold in granular form, it can easily be applied to the affected area manually by hand. However, the most efficient way is to use a granule or seed spreader as it limits direct contact with the pesticide and minimizes the chances of it getting into your eyes, nose or mouth.

Why isn’t EcoSMART higher on our list of best lawn insect killers? One of its major shortfalls is that it takes longer to show results as compared to chemical insecticides. The time of insect re-appearance also can’t be guaranteed. However, for many purchasers, the organic trade-off is worth the decreased effectiveness.

Should I Use An Insecticide On My Lawn?

Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program by the University of California recommends only using insecticides in case of major insect infestations, and when other non-chemical pest control methods are futile. Insecticides used without proper guidance can have hazardous effects on plants, humans and might lead to water pollution.

Fact sheets from Environmental Protection Agency and University of Wisconsin heavily stress following instructions while using lawn insect killers and pesticides:

  • Read label carefully.
  • Carefully measure concentrated formulations of pesticides, as using more product than recommended on the label can be hazardous.
  • Properly store chemicals away from the reach of children and pets to avoid accidents.

Frequently Asked

Generally Not! The insect killers are designed in a way that they work on only on the insects. Most of the times the grass remains unaffected. However, increased amounts of the product and not fully following directions might damage your grass.

The Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences from University of Florida provides detailed information on different types of infestations and the ways to spot them.

There are a number of beneficial insects that are naturally present in the garden. Most of the bugs and insects remain underground and an infestation can’t be pinpointed. One way to spot an infestation is by monitoring any unusual patches in the grass or holes in the lawn. If present, digging a small portion of soil and finding 7 to 15 larvae of insects or bugs can confirm an infestation.

Another way to monitor lawn infestation is by: Cutting 5 different sections of grass measuring 30 by 30 cm square wide and 5 cm deep per lawn then folding each square back and digging through the soil between the grass. If more than 5-10 grubs (larvae of different insects) per section are spotted then there might be a bug infestation.

When insecticides are used in an area, it is advised to avoid using that area until it dries and all the residue gets absorbed into the ground. Although most active ingredients present in the lawn products we have reviewed have low toxicity levels for humans and animals, they can still be harmful. Therefore, precaution should be taken. Once the insecticide gets dried or absorbed in the soil it is no longer harmful.

No, such products should not be poured into your house’s drain, down the sink, or into the toilet as it causes water pollution. It is purely unethical and against the law as sewage treatment plants are not designed to remove all toxic chemicals from wastewater. Also, these products when kept in the home should be tightly covered and then stored for later use, or should be taken to household hazardous waste sites for proper disposal.

Natural or organic insecticides do not provide instant results, and as a result, are not preferred by most customers; although they are environmentally friendly and are safe to be used on different kinds of plants and vegetation and do not cause harm to water supplies. In most cases, natural insecticides are not harmful for humans and animals. However, if there is a serious infestation problem that needs immediate attention then chemical lawn insect killers should be your top pick—due to their rapid action and killing power.

Although there is no set time to apply insecticides, check the weather forecast as there should be no winds or rain for the next 24-48 hours. Wind and rain can wash away the product. Also, it is advised to apply insecticides in the early morning or evening as it helps avoid any direct contact of the product with children or house pets.

There are two types of formulations:

  1. Liquid spray form
  2. Granular insecticide

Liquid Type

Advantage
Most of the liquid lawn killers are manufactured in concentrated forms that upon dilution can be easily sprayed onto the lawn; they include special containers which upon being attached to a garden hose, make their application easy and uniform.
Disadvantages

One of the major drawbacks with these types of containers is that they are prone to leak, especially those that have cheap connections and are not able to withstand the water pressure.

Granular Insecticide

Advantages

These types of insecticides do not require dilution and are ready to be used. One of the easiest ways is to spread it with your hands while wearing protective gloves and mask.

Disadvantages

Might not provide equal coverage of the product in affected area; therefore, requires seed spreader for equal distribution. Lawn needs to be watered after its use, for absorption into the soil and maximum results.

Conclusion

Of the lawn insect killing products we have reviewed, Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer Granules is our top pick in the chemical insecticide category as it delivers fast results, while killing a wide range of above and underground insects. 

However, if you do choose a chemical insect killer make sure that you follow proper guidelines for handling and disposal; as they can be hazardous to humans, animals, and aquatic creatures upon accidental inhalation or ingestion.

If you are more of a “natural” person, we recommend the EcoSMART granules. While the results may not be seen as rapidly as the chemical based products, the EcoSMART insect killer is effective at killing 30 different types of lawn insects.