Does Borax Powder kill ants?
Observing ants in the while can be a fun activity, and you might even find them cute—but when those little creatures make their way into your home, it’s time to act! Whether they’ve got into your garage, your kitchen, or even your living room, it’s good to take action fast, before you find yourself with a real infestation on your hands. One popular way of getting rid of ants is to make an ant bait using Borax. This is a highly effective measure against ants, but not one that you should take lightly. As a matter of fact, Borax is quite a dangerous substance that you should handle with the utmost care. In this article, we’re discussing everything you need to know about using Borax powder to kill ants, how to do it safely, how effective it is, plus some additional tips and recipes!
In the first part of this article, we’re discussing the very basics of using Borax powder to kill ants: what is Borax, how it works, where you can find it, how to use it against ants and a lot more.
In the second part, we’ll be discussing the safety measures that you need to put in place before you try using Borax powder to kill ants, in particular how to be safe using this remedy in a household where you may have children, pets or plants.
In the third and final part of this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about alternatives; whether you’ve decided you don’t want to use Borax or you would rather get rid of ants without killing them, this is the place to learn more on that topic.
Borax Powder To Kill Ants 101
What Is Borax?
Borax (of its proper name sodium tetraborate) is a mineral naturally found in nature which has a wealth of household uses. You could use it for most cleaning tasks, from getting rid of mold to cleaning floors and even making homemade laundry detergent.
Why Use Borax Powder To Kill Ants?
There are a few reasons to use Borax powder to kill ants. The first one is that it is a very effective ingredient. Using it, you can expect to get rid of all the ants in your house in the space of a day, and without much preparation. Secondly, it is a very cost-effective way to kill ants, and one that you may already have in your home. Finally, although it is very toxic for ants, this ingredient may be safer to use around pets and children than over-the-counter ant killers. Ants, unfortunately, can do a lot of damage to your home. To find out what they might be up to, read What Can Ants Damage?
Does Borax Kill Ants?
The short answer to this question is yes. As a substance, Borax is only toxic when ingested in large quantities. But when you consider how large a crumb of Borax represents an ant, it is hardly surprising that it can cause their death.
How Does Borax Kill Ants?
Borax kills ants through ingestion. The most popular way to feed Borax to ants is to mix it with something that is appealing to them, like sugar, vinegar or peanut butter. As the ants come to feast on your ingredient of choice, they’ll also be ingesting large quantities of Borax which will cause havoc in their digestive system. After only a few hours, the ant should be dead.
One good thing about the fact that Borax kills ants through ingestion rather than inhalation like some other popular pest remedies is that it leaves them time to leave your house, and contaminate others. After an ant has feasted on the borax mixture, it will generally bring some back to the colony. This can help you kill a very large number of ants in one go. And if you’re lucky, the ant will have left your house by the time it dies, meaning there won’t be as much to clean up afterward.
What Kind Of Ants Can Borax Kill?
Borax is a powerful killer of ants and will be effective on all the main species you are likely to find in your home. These include sugar ants, carpenter ants, and even fire ants. Although they may have different appearances and behavior, those all have the same digestive system, meaning that Borax will cause the same damage to their organisms.
Can Borax Kill Fire Ants?
Yes, Borax is a powerful remedy, even against fire ants. This is especially important if you have pets! Find out why by reading Can Fire Ants Kill Your Pets?
How To Make A Borax Ant Bait?
To make a Borax ant bait, you need to find something to mix Borax with. Think of something that will be attractive to ants. It could be anything sweet like sugar, honey or jam, or some savory kitchen items like peanut or almond butter.
Remember, ants will not be attracted to your bait and eat the Borax unless they have a good reason to do so. This is why you need to make your bait appealing. Below are a few recipes for Borax-based ant bait:
Liquid Borax Ant Bait Recipes
To make liquid Borax ant bait, simply mix Borax with a liquid of your choice, which you will then be placed on a plate, or dipping a cotton ball in. Here are a few options:
- half a cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of borax
- 2 cups of warm water
Mix well and place it in the receptacle of your choice.
- 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- half a tablespoon of borax
Mix well and place on a shallow plate or dip a cotton ball in the mixture
Solid Borax Ant Bait Recipes
To make a solid Borax bait, you will be using sugar as your main ingredient, adding any additional syrups for added taste. Here are a few different recipes you could try:
- 1 cup of sugar
- 5 tablespoons of Borax
- you can add a tablespoon of jam, honey or agave to make the mixture stickier and easier to handle
- 3 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon of borax
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
Mix well and make the mixture into little crumbs that you’ll be spreading on the area of your choice.
How To Use The Borax Ant Bait?
Although both liquid and solid Borax ant bait work well on their own, it can be good to use a combination of both. This is because while young ants eat solid food, adult and only really digest liquid foods. By using both as bait, you will make sure that every member of the colony injects Borax, overall helping you to get rid of ants faster.
When it comes to where you should place the bait, anywhere you find ants are good. For example, you could place your bait in the kitchen, if this is where the ants are located, or simply on your porch. If you want to be smart about it, then the best place to put your Borax bait is wherever ants are entering your home from. This may be an entryway, your front porch or a hole somewhere. Once you have located that place, simply place the ant bait there. This will ensure that as many ants as possible find it. And as an added bonus, if the place they are entering from is outside, you can even avoid introducing Borax on your indoor floors, which is much better for the safety of your household.
Where To Find Borax
Although you may not have heard of Borax before, it is actually a very popular ingredient with eco-friendly or frugal households and one that you can find in a great variety of places. Your best bet is to go to a large grocery store, where you’ll generally find it together with other cleaning products. As it is an ingredient that’s a lot more natural than synthetic detergent, you’re also sure to find it in most larger health food stores or organic stores. Finally, look for it in hardware stores where it’ll generally be available in the aisle near other powders used for construction. If none of these options are available to you, then you can also find Borax online, on marketplaces such as Amazon.
How Much Does Borax Cost?
Considering just how effective it is, Borax is a pretty cheap ingredient. You can find it at roughly $7 per kilo, sometimes less if you buy it in bulk.
Is Using Borax Against Ants Cost-Effective?
If you compare the cost of Borax with that of other popular ant killers, it’s a winner for sure. In fact, you could use Borax as a laundry detergent, as a dishwasher additive, and as a mold killer and still have some leftover to kill ants with. So why not take advantage of your ant infestation to introduce Borax into your life and save some money along the way?
Now that we’ve seen just how efficient Borax can be, let us consider the dangers of using that substance to kill ants. Although Borax is naturally found in nature and isn’t as toxic as some ant killers you’d find in the supermarket, it is still a product you should be careful with—here’s why:
Is Borax Safe For Humans?
Over recent years, there has been a bit of controversy on Borax which turns out to be toxic for children who have been exposed to it in the form of slime. As a general rule, Borax could only kill you when ingested in large quantities, and being in the presence of a bit of powder won’t cause you any problems. The main concern then is to keep Borax away from children, who don’t have the same reflexes around toxic substances that adults have. If you or another member of your household injects Borax, you can expect severe digestive issues, possibly involving vomiting and diarrhea. The product could also cause irritation of the skin, eye or throat, causing you to cough and feel faint. Finally, larger quantities lead to kidney failure and ultimately death.
Is Borax Safe For Pets?
You should keep Borax away from pets for the same reason you should keep it away from children: they could accidentally ingest it, leading to severe pain and even death. The degree of danger that your pets are in will depend entirely on their size; while a large dog will be fine even if he ingests a few crumbs or borax, this could mean death for a mouse or a budgie. For your own safety and that of your pets, make sure never to let them have any contact with Borax.
Is Borax Safe For The Planet?
Although Borax is naturally occurring, it isn’t actually the most eco-friendly product that you can find. As well as being unsafe for children and pets, it can cause problems when released into rivers or the soil because of its high acidity. So although you may find it more eco-friendly than some popular anti-insect sprays, it is still not ideal, and definitely not a “green” product.
How To Use Borax Safely
To be safe when using Borax, we recommend carefully monitoring the place in which you are placing it. It can be a good idea to use Borax when your children are away. Lock all pets and children inside of rooms. Then, place the liquid or solid Borax in the area where you are hoping to attract ants. Watch that place for a few hours, and then clean off the Borax carefully. Mop the floors, and thoroughly wash anything that has come into contact with the substance. With these security measures, using Borax isn’t actually dangerous. The main thing to remember is simply to use Borax in a zone where children and pets cannot get access.
If you have decided against using Borax to get rid of ants, then there are still a few solutions you can implement. Those sometimes involve killing ants without using Borax or simply getting rid of ants without causing any deaths. Let’s have a look at a couple of them:
Borax Alternatives Against Ants
Some natural products work wonders as an ant repellent. Here are just a couple of them:
You can sprinkle cinnamon in areas that are infested by ants to repulse them. The smell is very unpleasant to them and will encourage them to leave your place, although it won’t actually kill them.
Using peppermint oil mixed with water as a spray can protect your home from being infested by ants. Not only does the smell deter them, but it will also make your home smell lovely, and be more anti-bacterial. Win-win-win!
sugar, even when not mixed with Borax is a powerful bait for ants. Attracted to the smell, they will follow the trail of sugar out of your home and might be gone for good. Keep in mind that it won’t keep ants out forever, but it can be quite effective if you are completely unwilling to use Borax.
For more information on natural ways to kill ants, read What Ants Don’t Like: Natural Ways to Repel Ants
How To Get Rid Of Ants Without Killing Them?
Ants will come into your home to find food there. If they can find consistently find something to feed on, they will keep on coming back. If they can’t, they’ll leave of their own accord after only a few days. This means that the best way to get rid of ants is still to make your home inhospitable to them. Keep all floors perfectly clean, even in hard to reach crevices. Wash your bins and take them out regularly. Don’t leave food in the sink. Don’t let food sit out at night, put everything in air-tight containers.
The next thing to know about ants is that they find food by following the trail left by ants that walked somewhere before them. So if ants have regularly been able to access your home, there is a trail of pheromones there that is leading other ants to the same place. By using a spray made of vinegar or lemon juice and water, you can get rid of the pheromone trail, meaning that other ants won’t be as attracted to coming to your home.
Combine keeping any food out of reach of the ants and disturbing their natural pheromone trail and you are well on your way to stop them from coming into your home again!
So, what have we learned about using Borax powder to kill ants? Well, first of all, Borax is a powerful ingredient and can indeed be used to kill most any ants. That being said, it is also a hazardous product to use when you have children or pets in the house. So whatever you decide to do, make sure to monitor all the areas in which you are using Borax, and to clean them thoroughly after a few hours.
Finally, Borax is not the be-all and end-all of getting rid of ants. Simply getting into the mind of an ant and understanding what they are looking for can be enough to make changes that will make your home inhospitable to them. Plus there are also some other natural substances that you can use to get rid of ants. We hope that this article has been helpful, and we wish you the best of luck in dealing with the ants in your life!
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