Learn how to kill ants with borax. Ants crawling around your home gobbling on your crumbs and spills is never a good thing. Find out what natural remedies deter and kill ants and how to make a homemade trap that will kill ants with borax. Learn the best ways to deal with an ant infestation and what natural remedies will and won't work.
Natural Remedies for Killing Ants
Over the past few weeks I have noticed some random black ants trotting their way through my home. The first couple of times I assumed it was just a random occurrence because we leave the doors open a lot during the warmer months, but then I noticed more and more ants walking in different rooms of the house in a regular basis.
There was no trail of marching ants so I couldn’t follow it back to the nest but I know there is a nest (or a few of them) nearby.
When I was in high school we had a carpenter ant infestation in our family home. I remember having to move into the neighbor’s house for a few days while the exterminator came and I’m sure it was terrible for my parents who actually had to deal with it (and pay for the exterminator).
I want to make sure we deter ants and get rid of small infestations before they turn into huge problems where we have to fumigate the house or risk having it destroyed piece by piece from ants.
I’m on a mission to find the source of the ants before things get out of control and I’m also leaving out little traps out to help kill the ones who come inside.
Since we have pets and small child I don’t want to use toxic chemicals unless it's completely necessary so I started looking for ways to get rid of ants naturally.
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How to Prevent Ants from your Home
Try these ideas to keep ants away from your home:
- Keep sugars, syrups, fruits and any other ant-tempting foods in airtight food containers or in the fridge.
- Clean any food spills as soon as they occur and wipe down the outside of any sticky jars.
- Keep your kitchen clean and tidy. Clean up food crumbs right away.
- Take away your pet’s food between meal times.
- Alternatively, you can create a moat of water with a few drops of dish detergent around pet food bowls to prevent ants from getting to the food.
How do I get rid of ants permanently?
Remember, the primary reason why ants come to your house is to look for food. These insects are drawn to certain foods—especially sugary and fatty foods. Remove the ant’s food sources and you will reduce the amount of ants in your home.
What is the most effective outdoor ant killer?
Diatomaceous earth kills all bugs. It has been reported to be the most effective solution when fighting pests like fleas, ants and bed bugs.
Read all about how to use diamataceous earth in your home here.
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What Smells do Ants Hate?
Vinegar! Ants really hate vinegar, and you can make a cheap, easy pesticide just using vinegar and water. Mix a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray it directly onto the ants to kill them, then wipe up the ants using a damp paper towel and discard them.
Spray along the ant trails where you typically see the ants march in lines. Do this after you notice ants come into your home in large numbers. They follow the scent from ants that have gone before them.
Will cinnamon kill ants?
It is believed that cinnamon acts as a natural repellent as ants can't stand the smell. It is believed that soaking a cotton ball in a solution of cinnamon essential oil and water and wiping down common ant hot spots, such as doors and windows, will help repel ants.
This probably won’t work. A little cinnamon won’t deter hungry ants from the food they want in your home, but feel free to try it anyways and leave a comment with your results.
How to kill ants with hot water
Follow the trail of ants to their nest in the ground and pour a kettle of boiling water down the hole.
Depending on the size of the ant colony it might not kill all of the ants. If there are still lots left and the queen is still alive then this method will be ineffective.
What happens when the queen ant dies?
The queen ant has one function in the colony: To reproduce. When the queen ant dies, the colony dies. The death of the colony will not be immediate, but will slowly die off over time as no new members will be added
Will cornmeal kill ants?
Commercial ant bait is often made up largely of cornmeal but it’s not because cornmeal kills ants. It’s used because they love it!
The toxic product that is incorporated into the cornmeal will kills ants. If you simply apply cornmeal to the soil, as per the urban legend, you won’t be killing the ants, you’ll be feeding them.
Will baking soda kill ants?
There are rumors circulating around the internet that baking soda and when mixed with equal parts powdered sugar, will effectively kill ants.
Ants take this homemade poison back to their nest and infect the rest of the colony and the queen. When ingested, baking soda produces bubbles of carbon dioxide, which explode the infected ant from the inside out.
Here's what we know: no scientific evidence has proven this theory. Unfortunately, there's no reputable source to back up these claims so I don't know for sure. A better homemade solution is to use borax with sugar.
Borax is one of the main ingredients used in many ant traps. Check out the instructions at the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
How to kill ants with borax
Is borax safe for kids and pets?
Borax has a low toxicity for people and animals, but ants are another story. When ants consume the borax bait, it interferes with their digestive system and gradually kills them 24-48 hours after consumption. This slow kill allows time for the worker ants to consume the bait and head back to the nest multiple times to share with the rest of the colony and queen.
Within a few days, you should see a significant decrease in the number of ants visiting the bait.
The liquid ant bait station should remain as undisturbed as possible while the ants are actively feeding on it. Because this is a bait product, it is important to eliminate other food in the area to ensure the ants aren't tempted to eat anything but the (deadly) liquid ant bait.
While borax is not very toxic to humans and animals you should still use caution when using it. The bait trap that I share at the bottom of this post should be in an area that kids and pets generally cant get to.
What is the difference between borax and boric acid?
In the most basic terms, borax is a mineral that is mined from the ground, and it turns into boric acid with further processing (usually exposure to an acid such as hydrochloric or sulfuric acid). The borax you can buy in stores is usually 20 Mule Team Borax, which is labeled for use in laundry.
How to Kill Ants with Borax
Kill ants a with a homemade ant trap made with borax and syrup in an empty plastic bottle.
- ½ cup of borax
- ½ cup of maple syrup
- Empty plastic bottle
- measuring cup
- Mix the syrup and borax together.
- Place a few teaspoons of the liquid in an empty bottle.
- Place bottle on its side in a place where the ants can get to it but small kids and pets cannot.
- The ants will crawl into the bottle to get the liquid and bring it back to their colony, poisoning the queen and the rest of the colony.
You can substitute the syrup for another sticky liquid that ants love like honey, jam or even peanut butter.
Maybe European ants have different tastes? I've tried the borax/sugar mix and it didn't do a thing. First mixed borax, sugar and a bit of water and heated it until it was all dissolved, let it cool and poured it in the garden, some in small dishes and some just on the cement. The ants built little containing forts around it. This year tried just the mix of half borax and half icing sugar, they completely ignored it and went for my cats' food instead!
Oh no! Hmm, maybe try mixing cat food with borax and placing it where the cats can't get it? Let me know if you find a solution that works!
Rafael A DeJesus-Ramos says
I have yet to try any of the remedies that I've just received. IT'S been just a few hours since I posted my concerns about the ants invasion but it will not be long before I get started. Thank you for your information.
Good look and make sure you leave a comment with how things worked out for you!