Best Lawn Insect Killer (Safe for Pets and Kids)

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We at ProGardenTips value gardens and wildlife. We believe that if there is a natural, organic way available to get rid of unwanted insects, that way needs to be explored first. Luckily there now is a greatly working alternative to traditional chemical based pesticides available. It is made by the company EcoSMART, and they are now the fastest growing pesticide brand in the United States.

If you are not big on reading large articles and you just want to know which is the best insect killer for lawns, we have put it right here at the top of the page for your convenience.

🥇 Best Organic Lawn Insect Killer

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  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: This product will not contaminate ground water...
  • CHILD AND PET FRIENDLY: This product is safe to use around kids and pets, when...

🥈 Best Non-organic Lawn Insect Killer

SpectracideTriazicide Insect Killer for Lawns Granules 20 lb, 1-PK
SpectracideTriazicide Insect Killer for Lawns Granules 20 lb, 1-PK
KILLS ON CONTACT: Treat when insects first appear or when you notice lawn damage.; CONTROLS GRUBS: Treat any time between late July and early October.

Why Use Insect Killer for your Lawn

What is the first thing that catches your eye when you look at a garden the first time? The lawn, right? A great looking lawn is a major asset to a garden. I would even go as far to say that a garden can’t be complete without a nice lawn.

However, when a lawn is not looking its best, it can also bring the aesthetics of your garden down as a whole. You may have nicely trimmed hedges, shrubs and trees, but when the lawn is looking brown and bald it ruins the entire garden.

Therefore it makes sense you spent some time and energy on maintaining your lawn to your best abilities. One of the major problems homeowners face is insects and pests in their lawn.

Your lawn and the soil beneath it are a favorite spot for all kinds of insects and bugs to make their home. In your lawn they find a great place of shelter to hide from the weather and other animals that find them to be a good meal.

As a result of having lots of insects in the soil under your lawn, your yard will attract hungry moles to come and feast on them. This is a serious consequence as moles will dig up your lawn, leaving unsightly mole hills all over your yard. Using lawn insect killer will have the secondary advantage of acting as one of the best mole repellent.

If you are looking for the best lawn insect killer, you most likely already have your reasons to be using it. So we will not have to explain why you would want to use it in great detail. However a few reasons may be:

Insects are breeding in your lawn and then crawling into your house. If you remove their place of breeding, the chances of them infesting your house are less likely. This is particularly true for ants, which can become a real plague if untreated for too long.

ant hill mound in lawn
Ant hills or mounds can be a major inconvenience, blunting your lawn mower blades and spraining your ankle if you step on them.

Biting insects like mosquito’s or some types of spiders are bothering you, your kids and or pets. Obviously kids and pets love to play in the lawn so you may want to reduce the amount of biting insects that are there.

Some critters might feast a little too much on your lawn and actually damage it. Mole crickets for example tunnel through the soil beneath your lawn and will damage the root system of your turf, ultimately destroying it. Chinch bugs suck the sap out of the grass stems, until its completely dry, killing it as a result.

More on the different types of lawn damaging insects can be read down below. Before you head on to the best lawn insecticide section, read about the actual insects so that you can make a more informed buying decision.

Most Common Lawn Insects

cutworms lawn pests


Biologically, cutworms are not classified as worms, but as a type of caterpillar. During the day, they hide in the soil. At night, in the dark, they crawl their way above ground to feast on plants primarily. The first part of the plant they come across they will start gnawing at. This will eventually cut down the stem of the plant, and that is where they get their name from. Some varieties also like to eat the roots of the plants.

fleas lawn pests


Fleas are no larger than 1/8 of an inch, but can cause major irritations in pets and humans. They are red-brown colored, flightless animals and they’re very hard to spot. Lawns are a favorite breeding ground for fleas, and they are a real pest that don’t do much good. Most Lawn insecticide will aim to kill these pesky lawn insects.

chinch bugs lawn pests

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs are a terrible plague in the lawn and can cause some serious brown dead spots in your lawn. They are native to the American continent. These bugs mainly live on the juice they suck out of plants belonging to the grass family, such as rye, wheat, corn, barley, oats and of course your much beloved lawn. They suck the grass dry until there is nothing left. After that they move on to the next patch of lawn, until there is nothing left. If untreated, they can completely destroy your precious lawn.

spiders lawn pests


Brown patches in your lawn might indicate you have a spider mite infestation going on in your yard. I personally do not mind a few spiders in the house as I feel they catch and eat mosquitos which I dislike more. However in some cases they can cause serious damage in your lawn and garden. Some people are of the opinion that spider mites are on of the most destructive pests you can have in your garden. Most people are unable to identify the problem and blame the brown spots in the lawn on dried out soil due to broken sprinklers for example. Spider mites are most active during early to mid spring.

sod webworm lawn pests

Sod Webworms

Sod Webworms are the larvae of the lawn moth. They are native to North America, and were first recognized as a pest during the drought of the late 1920’s. The sod webworm feeds on the foliage of the grass. They cause brown spots in your grass. Even though it looks bad, it doesn’t actually kill the grass. This is because they don’t damage the root of the plant. Damage looks especially bad when the grass is mowed very short and under watered.

mole crickets lawn pests

Mole Crickets

Mole crickets do their damage by tunneling through the root system of your lawn. They were introduced from south america about 100 years ago, and now thrive in the southern states of the USA. They burrow through the top few inches of soil under the turf. Here they loosen up the roots of the grass and cause it to dry out, after which the grass dies and turns brown.

ants lawn pests


The most annoying issue of having ants in your lawn are the unsightly mounds they work so hard to build. These ant mounds can cause your lawn mower blades to blunt quickly, and ruin the look of your lawn. Ants dig up the soil beneath your lawn, which causes issues for the root system. Local, direct control using insecticide in either a granular or spray form is the best remedy to get rid of ant hills in your lawn.

Lawn Insect Granules Or Yard Spray?

Lawn insecticide comes in two main forms. The most common is the liquid variant. These liquids are usually a concentrated form, on which water must be added to achieve the sprayable mixture.

There are also special containers on which you can connect your garden hose. These are much more convenient for obvious reasons. These you do not have to mix outside of its original container, which reduces the chances of poison coming onto your hands or other plants.

However they still can be a headache to work with. These types of containers often leak. This is due to the cheap throw-away connections on the containers and these containers not being able to handle the high water pressure of your garden hose properly.

The Advantage Of Insecticide In Granular Form

We at ProGardenTips recommend using lawn insect killer granules. There are a few reason for this. The main advantage of granules is their ready-to-use form. There is no hassle of mixing poisonous liquids involved. Just read the instructions, open the bag, and spread them onto the infected areas (or all) of your lawn.

We do recommend to use gloves while handling insect killer granules. This is because during the spreading of the granules or after working with them, you might be inclined to scratch your eyes, nose, or mouth. This will still make the active ingredients come into contact with your insides, which is always undesirable, however harmless the manufacturer claims the product to be. Wash your hands after use to be safe.

If you can’t avoid windy conditions, consider wearing a face mask and safety glasses. Although the granules are a solid form, there is likely to be a lot of dust in the bags as well.

How And When To Use Yard Spray For Bugs

Never use any of these liquid lawn insect killer sprays on windy days. It will be too hard to control the spray. The wind will blow the poison all over your garden for one. Secondly, you will be unable to avoid getting a whiff of poison in your mouth, nose and eyes sooner rather than later. Spray during dusk or dawn when wind speeds are at a minimum.

A second advantage of spraying during these hours is that many insects actually hide deep in the soil during the day, which would make spraying less effective. After sundown they will start to emerge, and the poison will work much quicker and more effectively.

Using A Fertilizer Spreader For Granules

If you have a medium to large-sized lawn and you wish to cover the whole of it with insecticide, we recommend using a fertilizer spreader like the one pictured below. These devices are super simple to use and will ensure you spread the material as evenly as possible and don’t miss any spots.

Don’t think purchasing one of these is a waste of money, because they have multiple uses besides spreading lawn insect killer granules. They can be used for fertilizer spreading for example.

When spreading fertilizer it is even more important to spread the material as evenly as possible. If you don’t, you will not achieve an evenly growing lawn. Certain spots with lots of fertilizer may grow lots faster and thicker than spots with less coverage.

Another great use of these fertilizer spreader is in winter, for spreading salt on your paths and driveway. Lastly most of these devices will allow you to spread grass seed as well, which can be very useful when re-sowing your lawn or patches of it.

In our opinion, people who are serious about their lawn and property can’t go without one of these handy little things. And to make it even more of a no-brainer, they are a cheap investment, often less than 50 dollars.

  • Use the Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader to apply Scotts lawn care products
  • Comes pre-calibrated and fully assembled with a fold-down handle for easy storage
  • Scotts exclusive EdgeGuard Technology keeps lawn product off landscaping, driveways, and sidewalks
  • Features redesigned hopper and agitator for smoother product funneling and consistent coverage
  • Holds up to 5,000 sq. ft. of Scotts lawn product, including grass seed, fertilizer, salt and ice melt - ideal for treating smaller areas

Best Lawn Insect Killer Granules

Now onto the subject you were looking for. As you probably already know if you read the article, we favor using insecticide granules. We think they’re just more convenient and safe to use. If you need more details, please scroll back to the top and read the article from the start.

Now I personally prefer using organic insect killers. This is just something I feel better about. I love my garden, and the idea of using chemicals in a natural environment doesn’t rhyme with me. This doesn’t mean that you absolutely shouldn’t be using other forms of insecticide.

Organic, environment friendly types of insecticide tend to be less effective than their traditional counterparts. Millions of people use them every year and their gardens seem to be fine. So if you want the most effective insecticide, go for these more traditional, chemical based types of insecticides.

Most of these products come in either a granular or spray form. More specifically, the same products of most brands come in these two forms. This is great, because whichever form you prefer, there is a product for you.

For your convenience we have done our research and listed the best insect killer for lawns down below. As you can see we listed the organic products first, as we believe these are better for your garden long-term. However it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the most effective.

EcoSMART Organic Insect Killer

EcoSMART is fast on its way to becoming the leading pesticide brand in the United States. They are the only brand with a complete product line of EPA exempt products on offer. Their primary aim is to be the number one supplier of safe and natural pesticide alternatives.

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  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: This product will not contaminate ground water supplies, hurt mammals, birds or fish, so you can always feel good about using EcoSMART
  • CHILD AND PET FRIENDLY: This product is safe to use around kids and pets, when used as directed

This is how it works:

Plants produce compounds called essential oils. These oils naturally provide defenses against disease and insects to survive. EcoSMART scientists have, through many years of research and development, identified and singled-out these natural compounds. After this they then blended these extracts to create the most powerful natural insect killer.

More specifically, the final product works by blocking the neural pathways called octopamine receptors. And here is the key part; these only exist in insects. Pets, humans, and other animals do not have these receptors. This is why this product is absolutely safe to use around dogs, cats and other pets as well as your kids. An added benefit is that is has a pleasant, minty scent.

One of the downsides is, it might be somewhat less effective on ants for example. This varies case by case, and is something you will have to try out for yourself. I always recommend people to try and go the organic, natural route first. If certain problems still persist, you can go on to stronger methods of insecticides. Try this first!

This product comes in bot granular and ready-to-spray form. We recommend the granules, as we believe they are longer lasting. Click on the product image to see the latest prices and more user experiences, Or find all EcoSMART organic, environment-friendly insecticide products here

Spectracide Insect Killer for Lawns and Landscapes

For consumers who want to use a highly powerful insecticide that is still safe to use around the yard, this product from the company called Spectracide is very popular in the United States. In our opinion this is the best lawn insecticide (non-organic).

  • KILLS LAWN INSECTS: Use outdoors on lawns and as a band treatment around your house foundation.
  • KILLS MORE THAN 100 INSECT TYPES: Kills insects above and below ground, including ants (excluding harvester and pharaoh ants), crickets, armyworms, cutworms, grubs, ticks and others as listed.
  • KILLS ON CONTACT: Treat when insects first appear or when you notice lawn damage.
  • CONTROLS GRUBS: Treat any time between late July and early October.
  • GRANULAR FORMULA: Distribute granules uniformly around the treatment area; water in lightly immediately after application.

This insect killer works very well on all kinds of insects listed above, including most types of ants. However it does not work on harvester and pharaoh ants.

When the insects come in contact with this, it kills them, whether that’s above or below ground. It kills more than 100 types of garden invading and damaging insects, and one application lasts a season long.

You can use this product around your yard on your lawn, or as a band treatment around the foundation of your house. This product also comes in either granular or spray form, whichever suits you best. Click on the images or here for more information, latest prices and user experiences on

Last update on 2024-06-22 / affiliate links / image and description from Amazon

4 thoughts on “Best Lawn Insect Killer (Safe for Pets and Kids)”

    • Hi Rich, both Spectracide and EcoSmart products will rid your lawn of ticks! Keep in mind that EcoSmart will take some time, but overtime you will see a rather dramatic reduction in insects around your yard.

  1. Hello, we live in Hawaii and the 100 open acres behind us used to be sugar cane fields. We have a centipede problem. They are big and evidently my wife is allergic to their poison. What’s the best product to use that will knock them off before they get to the house? Lately, I’ve been killing 2 to 5 a week on our back lanai.

    • Hi Mark, the best way to keep centipedes out of your home is to remove conditions near your exterior walls that give these creatures a nice moist, shaded place to hide. Make sure there are no gaps, holes, or cracks that will allow them entry into your home. As for around the house, you can try setting up a perimeter around the property using insect killer such as the Ecosmart or Spectracide granules. This should reduce the number of centipedes making it to the house. If these measures don’t work out and your family is experiencing health issues because of it, I think it might be time to hire a local pest control firm.

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