Using Borax to Kill Ants

Does Borax Kill Ants? If So, How to Use It?

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

Ever battled ants and felt like you're losing the war? We've all been there. Ants can turn our lives upside down, but there is a quick fix to this.

Using Borax can actually get rid of ants, as it disrupts the ants' digestive systems, making it impossible for them to extract energy from food, which leads to their eventual death. Worker ants also carry the borax back to the colony, spreading the poison and killing the entire colony over time.

Here's what we'll explore in this article:

✔️ Preparing your borax solution to get rid of ants

✔️ Making sure your borax bait gets rid of ants

✔️ Safety tips when using borax against ants

Let's make the best homemade ant killer together!

How Does Borax Disrupt the Digestive System of Ants?

image if borax ant killer recipe

Borax, generally found as a white mineral powder and composed of hydrated sodium borate, acts as poison for ants and other bugs. Once ingested, it disrupts the ant's digestive system — and while not instantly lethal — impairs the their metabolic ability to gain energy from food, leading over time to their death.

Timeframe for Effectiveness

Ants carry the toxic element back to the colony, inadvertently delivering the death sentence to their comrades. While the first visible signs of successful borax deployment comes within 48 hours, extermination of the entire colony may extend to approximately 4 weeks. Patience, in this case, proves key to effective pest control.

How to Prepare a Borax Ant Bait?

Creating a powerful borax ant killer promises a practical solution to control persistent pests.Follow these simple steps to make ant killer at home.

Ingredients and Tools Needed

The Borax ant killer entails common kitchen ingredients:

  1. Borax: Acts as the primary ant killer.
  2. Sugar: Works as bait, attracting ants due to their sweet-tooth.
  3. Water: Used to dissolve borax and sugar, creating a powerful liquid ant bait.
  4. Disposable containers: Preferably shallow, to hold the ant killer. You'll want to place those strategically.
  5. Cotton balls: Effectively soaks and holds the solution. Cotton balls also act as magnets for ants.
  6. Stirring Stick: Helps dissolve borax and sugar in the water.
  7. Measuring tools: Serves to maintain the right ingredient proportions.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Borax Ant Killer

It can be hard to accurately identify what time of ant you have at your house. In that case, you should always create two distinct recipes to target diverse ant diets. The first recipe should cater to sugar-feeding ants and the second one should be for protein-feeding ants.

  • Recipe #1 (sugar ants): Mix 1 part borax with 3 parts sugar. Gradually add warm water while stirring constantly until you get a syrup-like consistency. Maintaining a 1:3 ratio of borax to sugar ensures the solution isn't too strong to kill ants instantly; they need to carry the liquid bait back to the colony.
  • Recipe #2 (protein ants): Incorporate 1 tsp. of borax into a mixture of 2 tbsp. of peanut butter and 1 tsp. of honey.

How to Make Sure Your Borax Ant Killer Is Effective?

Making borax ant killers effective involves identifying common ant trails, placing baits strategically, and instituting diligent monitoring and maintenance routines. Here's how to ensure that your borax ant bait works optimally:

Best Locations for Ant Baits

Selecting prime locations heightens the chances of effective ant control.

  • Identifying Ant Trails and Entry Points: Ants will establish trails along walls, countertops, and plants. Observe the drilled nooks and entrances into your home – these serve as common ant entry points where you can find their trails. Worker ants connect their colony to food sources via well-marked trails often leading into your household.
  • Strategic Placement: Position your borax baits near these trails and entry points – diligently preventing them from reaching your food. Simultaneously, ensure the accessibility of liquid baits to ants. Sprinkle tiny amounts around the places most frequented by ants. Keep these baits out of reach from children and pets, though, to ensure their safety.

Should You Check and Refresh Baits?

Yes! You should check your borax ant killer every 2 days. If you notice that the solution is gone or seems less in tiny pieces, refresh the containers by adding more.

Alternatively, if the bait is hardly disintegrated, consider relocating to another more ant-visited spot. Plus, keeping the liquid bait fresh ensures that ants carry the borax back to their colonies continually.

How to Measure Borax Bait Success?

Borax doesn't yield instant results – it's a long game. A decrease in ant movement after 48-72 hours signifies a successful operation. But, complete annihilation takes about 4 weeks. Moderate your expectations – a single application won't resolve ant infestations instantly, but diligent usage guarantees results.

Are There Any Safety Measures When Using Borax?

Borax, although effective against pests like ants, does impose health and environmental hazards which concern many people. Boric acid, the active ingredient in borax, is toxic when ingested or inhaled, which can lead to harmful effects on humans and pets.

Also, elevated levels of borax can contaminate soil and water, altering ecosystems negatively. Direct exposure can cause skin irritations and eye damage. Hence, safe handling practices and precautions for pets and children become paramount.

Safe Handling Practices

  • Always wear protective clothing, including gloves and eye protection, when handling borax.
  • Avoid direct skin contact and ensure a well-ventilated area.
  • Avoid inhalation of borax powder and ensure the space remains dust-free during application.
  • Never consume borax or let it contact with food items.

Precautions for Pets and Children

  • Instruct children about the dangers associated with borax and keep them away during application.
  • Pets should be kept at a safe distance from areas with borax applications.
  • If you place borax baits, situate them in locations inaccessible to children or pets.
  • Regularly check these areas and promptly clean up any dispersed borax.

Proper Storage of Borax

When storing unused borax, keep it in a tightly closed container in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from children and pets.

Clearly, label the container and avoid using food containers for storage to prevent any accidental ingestions.

Store borax separated from food, beverages, and feedstuffs to avoid cross-contamination. Regularly check the container for any damage and always handle safely when accessing the stored borax.

What Are Alternatives to Borax Against Ants?

There are several alternatives to borax for dealing with ants, including:

  1. Diatomaceous Earth: This natural powder is made from fossilized remains of diatoms. It works by dehydrating ants when they come into contact with it.
  2. Vinegar: A solution of vinegar and water (equal parts) can disrupt ant trails and deter them from returning.
  3. Essential Oils: Certain essential oils, such as peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus, are known to repel ants.
  4. Cinnamon: Ants are repelled by the strong smell of cinnamon.
  5. Lemon Juice: The acidity and strong scent of lemon juice can deter ants.
  6. Baking Soda and Sugar: Mix baking soda and sugar in equal parts. The sugar attracts the ants, and the baking soda poisons them.
  7. Soap and Water Solution: A mixture of dish soap and water can kill ants on contact, offering a simple spray solution.
  8. Cucumber Peels: Ants dislike the taste of cucumber.
  9. Chalk: Drawing a line with chalk can disrupt ant trails and deter them from crossing.


So, we've taken a good look at how to use borax against ants and how to kill ants effectively. And it's clear that this versatile compound not only disrupts ant colonies but also offers a sustainable, eco-friendly solution for other pests too.

But remember, it's not just about the borax. It's about integrating it into a comprehensive pest control plan and understanding the lifecycle of these insects.

So, let's put borax to work and leave behind eliminate ant hills to our ant problems. Here's to a pest-free, cleaner, and more sustainable home, promoting safe and effective cleaning methods!

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Frequently asked questions

How does borax affect the metabolic processes of ants?

Borax interferes with the metabolic processes of ants by disrupting their ability to extract energy from their food, which eventually leads to their demise. This disruption occurs when ants ingest borax, which then impairs their digestive system over time.

What is the chemical composition of borax?

Borax is composed of hydrated sodium borate, a naturally occurring mineral. It features a crystalline structure and is known for its heat resistance and chemical properties, which make it effective in various applications including pest control.

What is the difference between borax and boric acid?

While borax and boric acid may seem identical to the naked eye, upon closer inspection, the disparities become flagrant. Borax, the raw mineral salt, converts into boric acid following a reaction with an acid. Also, boric acid proves slightly stronger and faster against insects, making it a popular choice for pest control.