Whether indoor or outdoors, ants can become a nuisance in every home and to everyone. These tiny little pests burrow their way into your homes and gardens in search of food, and can leave both your plants and pantry suffering. Fortunately, there’s no need to live with them anymore, you can easily get rid of them with borax.
Borax is an odorless white powder, known mostly for its uses when doing laundry, but it also has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties that are beneficial to both the home and environment. It’s important to note that borax is toxic if ingested, so be sure to keep it away from your pets and children.
Many persons tend to confuse borax with boric acid, but there is a minor difference between the two. Borax is a mineral that comes from the ground while boric acid is a derivative of borax when it goes through further processing. Another small difference is the uses of the two products; borax is labeled for laundry use whereas boric acid is labeled specifically as a pesticide or an insecticide.
The truth is that either of the two can be used as an effective home remedy to get rid of ants naturally, it’s up to you to choose which is more readily available. Ensure however that whichever you choose, you use it with caution and keep it away from pets and young children.
How to Use Borax to Kill Ants
Borax is not a quick fix that gets rid of ants immediately, but because of its slower workings, it is a more effective and long term home remedy. Borax works by gradually killing the ants after they ingest it, and because most ants bring back the fruits of their labour to their colony to feed their larvae and their queen, this method of using borax will kill the ants and destroy the colony from the inside out.
Borax & Sugar
To use borax/boric acid as an effective home remedy to get rid of ants whether in the home or outside, you can make an ant trap using borax and sugar. You will need:
- 2 tablespoons of borax/boric acid
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 1/2 cups of warm water
Simply mix the borax with the sugar and then add the warm water. Stir until both the borax and the sugar have been thoroughly dissolved and produces a thick consistency. The sweetness of the sugar draws the ants to this mixture, but the toxicity of the borax is the killer ingredient.
This mixture can be used indoors, both as a preventative measure and also as an effective solution for an already existing ant problem. To use indoors, pour small amounts of the ant bait trap into shallow containers and place them where ants are frequent in the home, such as near kitchen counters and cupboards. It can also be placed along entryways and paths that ants use to enter the home such as window sills, doors and any opening in general.
To use outdoors, whether in gardens or yards in general, simply forget the water and just mix the powdered sugar with the borax in the ratio, 2 parts borax and 1 part powdered sugar. Sprinkle this powdered mixture along the path of the ants in the yard or around the plants in the garden. It’s also important to remember that borax is toxic when ingested so be sure to keep pets and small children away from this mixture.
It would be smarter to use the mixture in small portions at first, so as to identify the pathway of the ants which would allow you to apply the solution more effectively. Borax also not only kills ants, but other pests and insects as well, and is also known for its uses as a fungicide and herbicide.
Borax & Honey
Another highly effective home remedy for ants is using this borax, honey and water paste. The honey acts in the same way as the sugar does, pulling the ants in with its sweetness, but its properties along with the borax ultimately causes it to be lethal to them. Honey, being a natural humectant, traps the moisture and coats the exoskeleton of the ants, wearing it down. The borax then penetrates into the ant’s body, causing death.
To make this home remedy you will need:
- 3 parts honey
- 1 part borax
- Warm water
Simply mix all three ingredients together until it forms a sticky paste. Apply this paste to ant trails, pathways, entryways or openings in the house, and also in your yard or garden where ants are more prevalent.
Borax & Peanut Butter
The third and final method of getting rid of ants using borax is to make a peanut butter and borax paste for the ants. The difference between this paste and the others above is that this paste will be very effective for those ants that specifically search for protein rich foods. This means that although this mixture may not work for all types of ants, specific types such as fire ants will be drawn to this mixture.
To make this home remedy, you need:
- 1 part peanut butter
- 1 part Borax
- ½ part water
Simply mix these ingredients together to form a paste that will become an ant bait. The side benefit of this bait is that it does not need to be re-baited daily as the other two above, which makes it even more convenient and easy to work with.
Preventing an Ant Infestation
While using borax to get rid of ants is a very effective home remedy, an easier way would be to prevent the ant infestation from happening. This can be easily done by making sure to follow the preventative measures listed below:
- Wash all dirty dishes after use
- Clean sink and cupboards, making sure to remove all crumbs and leftover food particles
- Store food in locked/airtight containers, (especially foods like sugar and flour)
- Sweep & mop floors regularly, removing all crumbs and leftover food
- Dispose of the garbage regularly
- Add Bay Leaves or Mint sprigs in cupboards
- Use Apple Cider Vinegar as a cleaning agent
Next time you wake up to a trail of ants on your kitchen counter, whip up one of these simple and easy to make ant solutions, and they’ll be gone in no time!