If you left something sweet in the pantry, sooner or later, you will notice ants crawling all over the sweet goody or swimming in your cup of coffee that you forgot overnight. Although ants may not be as troublesome as fleas and cockroaches, controlling these tiny little creatures becomes a necessity at some point or the other. You will find a plethora of traps and products for exterminating wingless or flying ants in homes. But they are pricey, and most of them are formulated with harsh chemicals. A safer and less expensive choice is using borax powder to kill ants, which we will discuss in this post.
How Does Borax Kill Ants?
The term borax is used to refer any of these, boron mineral, borate salt, boric acid salt, and the common household cleaning products. You might have already heard of using borax for controlling fleas and cockroaches. But what is borax and how does it exterminate insects? Borax is a white powdery substance derived from the mineral of boron, sodium borate, or sodium tetraborate (Na2B4O7·10H2O). It causes dehydration of insects and affects their digestive system, leading to their death. Hence, using borax powder to kill ants and other household pests is preferred over applying chemical insecticides.
How to Use Borax for Killing Ants
Borax powder sold in the grocery store has a shelf life of 2-3 years. You can spray it directly over the infested areas to get rid of ants, or use borax for better results. However, borax is somewhat toxic in nature, and you need to take proper precautions while handling it. Direct exposure to borax powder causes irritation to the skin and eyes, while inhalation results in respiratory distress. The following are some useful instructions to mix borax with other ingredients.
- Wear safety gear and simply sprinkle borax powder over electrical outlets, room corners, and ant mounds in outdoor gardens. In case, you have children and pets in your home, refrain from using loose borax powder. Instead, you can make ant baits for safety purposes.
- While dealing with ant infestation, the best way of getting rid of ants is laying a sugar bait. For making this lure, you can use sugar (or any sweetening agent, like maple syrup, honey, molasses, etc.) and borax powder.
- Using boric acid, you can make a natural insecticide for ants. All you need to do is mix ¼ cup each of sugar and honey. Warm it and stir in ¼ cup borax powder. Spoon it over ant mounds in the garden and lawn.
- Another method is to mix 2 tablespoons borax with 1 cup confectioner's sugar. Combine them using a stick, and place some near the ant nests. Or, fill it in a plastic container and poke holes in the lid.
- A simple homemade ant killer is prepared by dissolving 1 cup sugar in 1 cup of lukewarm water. To this, add 2 tablespoons borax powder. Dip cotton balls in this sugary mixture and leave them in ant-infested areas.
- Another natural way to get rid of ants is to mix peanut butter with borax powder. Keep this mixture near the mounds, preferably in a piece of paper or unused plate, and keep near ant-nesting sites. The peanut butter will attract ants (just like sugar) and boric acid will kill them.
The ants, after gathering borax mixed sugar (or peanut butter) carry the baits to their nests, which will again kill the remaining ants. In a nutshell, using boric acid for ants has given prompt results to many homeowners, and you can rely on application of borax to kill ants outside and inside your house as well. However, it may take several days to get rid of ant colonies completely. This is because, these social insects may break up into small colonies once they sense danger.