Insecticides come in a variety of formulations, often targeting specific critters or situations. When it comes to dealing with an ant or grub infestation, not to mention potentially disease-carrying ticks, pest control granules appear to be one of the most efficient approaches that save time and hustle while not just killing existing pests but creating a preventive anti-insect barrier.
This article highlights the five best granular insecticide options out there to use in your garden. I included the limitations of each product as well in order to help you make an informed decision based on the particular problem you are dealing with.
5 Best Granular Insecticides Reviewed
Please note that the products below all target different ranges of insect species, so choose a treatment that’s indicated in your case.
1. Ortho Home Defense Bug Killer Granules: Top Pick
Made with 0.115% bifenthrin, an insecticide belonging to the large and widely used family of pyrethroids, Ortho Home Defense can be applied to ornamental as well as vegetable gardens, lawns, and around home foundations. I would not recommend using this if you keep bees since bifenthrin is believed to be highly toxic to these insects.
I had a chance to test this product when something brought hordes of fleas to my yard. What I like most about it is how it takes just a few hours. A 10-lb bag will cover 10,000 square feet.
According to the label, this bug killer offers up to 3 months free of fleas, ants, ticks, spiders, cutworms, sod webworms, mole crickets, and chinch bugs but doesn’t kill grubs (for a dedicated grub solution, see Scotts GrubEx1 below). Overall, it is a moderately priced and highly efficient treatment.
- Wide range of target insects;
- Quick action;
- Won’t hurt your budget;
- Creates a lasting barrier.
- Not to be used around bees;
- Doesn’t target grubs and mosquitoes.
2. BioAdvanced Complete Insect Killer Bug Granules: Runner-Up
If you are looking for a one-size-fits-all solution, you’ll probably appreciate the 30-something list of species that these BioAdvanced lawn insect granules control.
Made with a proprietary 2-way action formula, it works against both turf eaters and soil insects, covering up to 10,000 square feet for ants, ticks, and fleas and 5,000 square feet for the remaining pests.
I have used these granules to fight off a massive ant infestation and found it very effective. The 90 days’ prevention promise only applies to soil insects, though. As a bonus, these are mosquito repellent granules.
The biggest problem with this product is that it cannot be used in vegetable gardens. Users in the US should pay attention to the fact that it is prohibited in some states.
- Targets 30+ species, including grubs;
- High coverage with ants, ticks, and fleas;
- Repels mosquitoes;
- Prevents re-infestation by soil-inhabiting species over 90 days;
- Must not be used to treat vegetable gardens
3. Talstar Xtra Insect Granules: Great Value
Powered by a combination of zeta-cypermethrin and bifenthrin, Talstar Xtra comes in extra-large 25-pound and targets a variety of ants, including the venomous and aggressive fire ants, fleas, ticks, and more.
With most application dosages, one package will cover a full 10,000 square feet. My friend who used it against chinch bugs reported no re-infestation over 2 months.
The product uses an improved granular formulation that is odorless and releases quickly for rapid action while being dust-free in an application. Unfortunately, it is not safe to use on plants grown for food. The use of this product is prohibited in some states.
- Wide insect range including fire ants;
- No odor/dust during application;
- Quick action against ants;
- Large pack size for bigger areas.
- Not safe to use in vegetable gardens;
- Won’t kill grubs.
4. Scotts GrubEx1: A Specialized Anti-Grub Yard Insecticide
If you are looking for a reliable grub treatment, this season-long insecticide is definitely something to consider. I tried it against grubs in my relative’s garden last spring, and they never had to use the money-back guarantee because the critters did not return over the following four months.
Formulated with chlorantraniliprole, a ryanoid insecticide, GrubEx1 also targets caterpillars, chinch bugs, and a number of larvae other than grubs. Unfortunately, it won’t work against mosquitoes, fleas, or ants.
- Dedicate anti-grub action;
- Kills caterpillars, chinch bugs, and Japanese beetle larvae as well;
- Guaranteed to prevent re-infestation for 4 months if applied in spring or summer.
- Doesn’t target other common critters.
5. Bonide Insect and Grub Control: Fast-Acting Bug Granules for Yard Management
Users interested in an all-round solution to their turf and subsurface problems might like how this Bonide product kills 40+ species, including ants, grubs, and more.
It combines the systemic effect of imidacloprid with the quick lambda-cyhalothrin for a quick effect to last. The label promises up to 3 months of prevention depending on the target pest.
It lasted about 2 months when I used it for grubs in my garden, which is not the best result in the grub category but is great combined with the effect it has on other pests.
The 6-pound bag is enough to treat 5,000 square feet when dealing with subsurface species and up to 7,500 square feet above the surface. Given the price, it is rather a premium option but still viable if you want an all-in-one product.
- Kills and controls over 40 species;
- Quick effect;
- Combined surface and subsoil action.
- Not the best grub prevention;
- Not particularly budget-friendly.
Wave Your Hand Goodbye to Lawn Critters with the Best Pest Granules
Granular insecticides are easy to apply and can work great to create an anti-insect barrier around your home and garden. With a safe yet efficient formula like the one in Ortho Home Defense Bug Killer, you needn’t fear re-infestation in the near future. Just pick a product that works against the species plaguing you and show them who’s the boss!
By the way, what’s the insect that’s brought you here? Please share your unfortunate experience in the comments section so that we know what critters are the worst. You’re welcome to tell us about some failed treatment attempts, too.
Last update on 2021-10-21. The post includes Affiliate links. Images from Amazon Product Advertising API