It doesn’t matter whether you’re fighting the war on ants inside your home or out, ants are a pain to get rid of, and at times, it may even feel impossible. However, there are plenty of tricks and tips out there and Borax, also known as Boric Acid, is known for being one of the most effective home remedy approaches.
Today, I’m going to show you how you can tackle and get rid of ants in your home completely using Borax powder, as well as share some tips that will help stop those little bothersome bugs from coming back or appearing in the first place.
What is Borax Powder?
You may already have heard of Borax powder since it’s already commonly used in laundry. It’s a white powder that has no smell whatsoever and has a ton of antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. That makes it great for being used around the home, especially when you’re trying to keep your clothes nice and clean.
It’s worth saying that like most household chemicals and substances, Borax powder is toxic if ingested, so make sure you’re keeping it away from your children and pets, unlike pet-safe ant killers. If you do find someone who has ingested some, make sure you call your doctor or healthcare professional and then take them to the hospital as soon as possible.
Now, it’s also worth noting that Borax powder is slightly different from Boric acid. The two terms are usually used interchangeably, but there is a small difference. Borax is the raw mineral that is sourced and mined out of the ground.
Boric acid, on the other hand, comes from Borax powder, but there’s some processing that needs to take place. It’s all very scientific, and if you’re interested, you can find it out using a quick online search. But when it comes to getting rid of ants, just know they do the same thing.
Long story short, Borax is the powder you use in laundry, where boric acid is a chemical that comes from said powder. Both are commonly used as pesticides and insecticides to kill ants, bugs, and other unwanted pests.
whether you already have any Borax or boric acid laying around, or you can easily get hold of one but not the other, it’s time to fight those pesky ants once and for all.
Using Borax to Kill Ants
Since Borax is not a ready-made pesticide, it’s not going to get rid of your ants immediately. But, since you’ve probably already got some laying around your home (check your laundry cupboards), it’s a great way to start getting rid of them now.
Here’s how Borax works- once you’ve set up in a trap with an incentive, the worker and scout ants will eat the Borax powder and take some back to their nest. Here, they’ll share the food with the other ants, thus spreading the Borax throughout the entire colony, ultimately destroying every part of the ant’s nest simultaneously.
Below, I’m going to show you how to make that happen. You can use whatever Borax powder you want, but I highly recommend Milliard Borax Powder for brute strength and fast results.
Mix Borax with Sugar
Making an effective long-term ant trap only requires Borax, sugar, and a bit of water. Here are the exact ingredients:
- 2 tbsp of Borax
- 1 ½ cups of warm water
- ½ cup of sugar
Simply mix your Borax and sugar together and then add the warm water slowly, making sure it’s all mixing together thoroughly and evenly. Once both Borax and sugar have been dissolved in the water, you should see your mixture thickening up.
Place this mixture on a bowl or in a shallow bowl – basically on anything the ants can have easy access to – and then leave said bowl or plate where the ants can get to it.
Sugar is sweet, and ants find sweet things like this irresistible, and since it’s mixed with the Borax, this is one lethal cocktail for them. You can use this mixture both indoors and outdoors, but again, wherever you place it, make sure you’re keeping your pets and children away from it.
When using this solution myself, I find it much easier to only create small portions first and then placing it down in strategic locations. Once the ants get involved, I can then track their movements better, therefore placing more mixture in better locations which helped me wipe out the colony quicker.
Mix Borax with Peanut Butter
Surprisingly, you don’t just need sugar to attract ants to your Borax traps. Other sweet foods like peanut butter will also work. I found that peanut butter actually works really well because it’s rich with proteins, and like sweet foods, this is the kind of stuff ants just can’t get enough of.
Bear in mind that this solution may not work with all species of ants, like fire ants, but this will depend on where you live and what kind of ants you’re dealing with. Make sure you identify them first using online pictures or books.
To create your own peanut butter trap, you’re going to need:
- One spoonful of peanut butter
- One spoonful of Borax
- ½ a cup of warm water
Mix the peanut butter and Borax together in a bowl, so you’re creating a thick paste, and then stir the water in a little bit at a time. Adding the water makes the solution a little more accessible for the ants, and they’ll be much more able to take some back to the rest of the colony, thus spreading it faster.
Just leave your substance on a plate, bowl, or piece of card, basically anywhere where the ants will be able to get to it and leave it overnight. You should start seeing results in a matter of days.
Mix Borax with Honey
Mixing Borax powder with honey also produces amazing results, acting in very much the same way as the sugary sweet solutions above.
However, some people believe honey is much more effective because it sticks to the ants and weighs them down, helping the Borax trap build up and become more inescapable once inside the colony.
You can also place it in key locations easier, such as sticking it along a wall if needed.
To create this mixture, you’ll need to mix;
- 1 ½ cups of warm water
- 3 tsp of honey
- 1 tsp of Borax
Mix these ingredients in a small bowl together until a sticky, thick paste is formed, and apply the paste to ant trails or in a bowl or plate that can be positioned anywhere the ants can get too easily.
As with all the solutions we’ve spoken about above, and as I said in the intro, you can use Borax and Boric Acid interchangeably. They’ll have the same effect. If you’re looking for Boric Acid over Borax, then I found that Humco Boric Acid is a great solution that really gets the job done.
Use a Ready-Made Borax Solution
While it can be a lot of fun making your own anti-ant solutions out of sugar, jam, honey, peanut butter, and basically anything sweet, fruity, or nutty, sometimes it’s just easier to get a solution that’s ready to use right out of the box.
I personally recommend then Harris Liquid Ant Killer. This pack contains Borax as the active ingredient, so you’ll get all the same benefits as the recipes above, and it can be used on most kinds of ants. Each pack comes with nine bait trays ready to rock and roll, so you’ll have more than enough to tackle your infestations from all angles.
Just like the other solutions, you simply need to find a place where the ants are coming and going and simply place a bait tray down in this area. Squeeze some of the ready-made solutions out of the tube, onto the tray and watch your ant problem disappear!
Important Information You Need to Know
Two points to remember when using the Borax ant treatment.
Firstly, you should always see results within a few days, but it can take a while for an ant colony to be eradicated completely. This could be weeks or even months, so you’ll need to be patient.
Don’t forget to move your traps around to new locations where you see ants maximize your chances of clearing them out for good.
Secondly, and I have mentioned this briefly, Borax treatments won’t work on every kind of ant. Yes, it will on the majority of ant species, but there’s the odd occasion where it won’t. Some ant species that won’t be affected include;
- Fire ants
- Argentine ants
- Pharaoh ants
- Sugar ants
- Harvester ants
If you’re dealing with any of these species, then you should call a pest control service immediately.
Prevent Ants from Coming Back
The best way to deal with ants is to stop them from coming in the first place. Of course, hindsight is always a winner, but even if you get rid of your ants, you’ll want to do everything you can to stop them coming back.
To help with this, I’ve created this small section to give you some ideas on what to look out for, what protective measures you should be taking, and detailing how you can keep ants out of your home for good.
First, remove any food sources. This means making sure you’re on top of your washing up, not leaving dirty dishes out, and vacuuming your home. If your house is full of crumbs, debris, and other food sources, you’re going to attract ants because, like all animals, they’re looking for food.
This extends to cleaning out your cupboards and sink as well periodically. The best way to do this is to create a weekly cleaning schedule. This will also help to keep other unwanted house guests and pests away. You will also want to clean your tables, mop and sweep your floors, and empty your rubbish bins on a frequent basis.
If you want to take things further, you can add Apple Cider Vinegar into your cleaning products inventory, since this has anti-ant properties you’re not going to want to miss.
Next, move your open food sources to containers. Ants are attracted to flour and sugar specifically because the bags are left open, allowing easy access for creepy crawlies. Buy some airtight plastic containers to really keep things safe.
So, just to recap;
- Remove any and all food sources
- Package up open food, so it’s less accessible
- Clean dishes and empty bins often
- Clean your home regularly
- Use apple cider vinegar as a cleaning product
When you couple all these techniques with the Borax substance, you’ll be well on your way to staying on top of any ant problem you’ll come across, and you’ll be able to stamp out any infesting colony quickly and effectively. Combined, this will help you maintain a happy, healthy, and bug-free home.
And If You Can’t Clean Your Infestation
While these solutions are very effective in removing ants and have been proven time and time again to work, sometimes there’s a problem that just can’t be fixed. This is the worst-case scenario.
Even if you’re putting traps down, sometimes the infestation goes deep under your home or into the roof, or you have multiple infestations happening at once, so you won’t be able to put enough traps down to kill them all. This is especially the case when a colony has established itself for some time and hasn’t been treated.
If you’ve found yourself in this position, then the best way forward is to call a professional pest control service. In some situations, they may need to open up part of your home or access a wall or vent, but this will all depend on your personal situation.
To find a good pest control service, run an online search in your local area, see what services come up that offer ant removal and have good reviews, and then call around to find the service that will offer you the best price.