When these come marching in one by one into your garden or your home it’s a problem! It’s a relatively common problem many homeowners face. Many different products and home remedies have been believed to eliminate these pests without the need for harsh chemicals or professionals. Borax for ants is claimed to be one of the most effective, but how accurate is this belief? We get straight to the facts and debunked the myths surrounding what kills ants.
- 9 Bait Trays Per Pack – Spread bait trays over a large area for maximum effectiveness. Ants will seek out the sweet liquid bait and bring it back to the colony
- Contains Borax – Borax, a naturally occurring mineral powder, is the active ingredient
- EPA Registered – Registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for indoor and outdoor use
- Kills the Queen and the Colony – Because borax works slowly to kill, it allows the worker ant time to get back to the colony to share the bait with other ants
There are many reasons why a homeowner would seek out natural solutions to getting rid of pests. Strong chemicals from pesticides often raise concern on their effects on the environment as well as people. Hiring a professional pest control service can help get the job done safely and effectively, but it will also cost considerably more.
It’s reasons like these that have many homeowners turning to the Internet for DIY solutions when faced with an ant problem. To get to the bottom of what really works, we decided to find out if borax for ants really does help.
What is Borax you may be wondering? This is a versatile powdery substance primarily used for laundry. Its beneficial qualities have proven to be useful for other purposes as well such as antifungal and antibacterial elements. It is still considered toxic when consumed so caution is advised with pets and children.
Does Borax Kill Ants?
Fact! The truth is Borax can be an effective and natural method to get rid of your pest problem. It can even found in some commercial products used to kill pests. Just don’t expect it to happen immediately. When treating ants using Borax they will gradually die off in time once exposed to the substance. Ants are an invasive species so if you see them in your home, chances are they’re also in other places like the walls. The best way to eradicate your ant problem is taking care of the ants you can’t see as well as those you can.
How Does Borax Kill Ants?
The typical nature of house ants in colonies is to collect food to bring back for the queen and larvae to feed on. When Borax is consumed by these ants and they return to their colony it will gradually kill off the entire colony from ingesting it. This is called a baiting technique.
If you choose to use borax for ants you will need to implement a plan of action for baiting. Try using multiple solutions that will attract various species of ants. Place your bait solutions in areas where ants might have been spotted. Just be sure to stay mindful if you have pets or small children to place these traps out of their reach.
- Many ant species are attracted to foods that are sweet. Use a sugary liquid such as corn syrup to mix with Borax. Place ¾ cup syrup in a microwave-safe dish and heat up for a few seconds. Add ¼ cup of borax powder to the syrup and combine. Place in small containers where ants are spotted.
- Try using a sweet solid for small, black sugar ants such as powdered sugar. Combine ¼ cup of Borax powder with ¾ cup of your sugary solid.
- Certain ant species are attracted to proteins rather than sweets. To maximize your efforts in killing off a pesky ant problem implement a solution using a protein. Peanut butter is a suitable option that can be combined with Borax. Use a 3:1 ratio of protein to Borax powder.
Does Baking Soda Kill Ants?
Baking soda is a common household staple that serves many purposes. Much like Borax, it is a white mineral substance and can be used around the house for cleaning as well as for baked goods. Many have been lead to believe that baking soda can kill ants under similar methods as Borax.
Myth! Unfortunately there is no evidence to suggest one way or the other that consuming baking soda will result in killing ants. Some suggest that when consumed in large quantities it can be toxic to ants due to the properties of carbon dioxide. It’s difficult to determine just what constitutes a large quantity for an ant and you can’t ensure they will consume enough of it to reach those results. For now we will file this a common myth.
Does Cornmeal Kill Ants?
The use of cornmeal, or corn gluten meal, is relatively common in home gardens as a natural source for controlling weeds. When it comes to other pest control problems there have been questions circling as to whether cornmeal kills ants. The theory is similar to that of using any form of bait – it’s brought back to the colony where they feed on it and consequently die. Some theories suggest it kills them because their bodies can’t digest the meal and therefore die of starvation while other claims suggest it swells inside their bodies resulting in death. So are either of these true?
Myth! Although when used alone cornmeal DOES NOT directly kill ants it can be used as a bait form when used with Borax. Cornmeal makes a great attractant for fire ants that will pick it up and bring back to the next. Combine a ratio of 3 parts cornmeal to 1 part Borax to create a slow-acting natural insecticide. This ensures the ant carrying it makes it back to the nest for the rest of the colony to feed on it before dying.
What Do Ants Hate?
Using bait solutions with Borax for ants may not work in every situation depending on the species of ants you’re dealing with and where they are. Bait solutions for killing ants requires using some substance they are attracted to in order to consume the poisonous element. This doesn’t always work as not all species are attracted to the same foods. An alternate method to get rid of ants in or around your home is finding out what they hate!
This is one solution will kill ants on contact and repel them from coming back.
Make a solution in a spray bottle filled with water by adding 15 to 20 drops of peppermint oil. Shake it to mix well. You can also add a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper to your solution if you need to up the ante for really big problems. Spray the solution in areas where ants can be tracked, around cracks and potential entries that ants are making their way into your home.
Citrus and Essential Oils –
Citrus and essential oils like tea tree are found to be quite unfavorable to ants. The reason lies in their reliability on their scent trails when finding sources of food. Create a spray by combining essential oils or citrus oils with water in a spray bottle to apply throughout your home. It will also leave a pleasant fragrance instead of using chemicals.
Bay Leaves –
These are an aromatic herb commonly used in the kitchen to add a unique flavor to dishes. It also happens to be a fragrance which ants among other insects cannot stand. Place whole leaves in your cabinets and or around your countertops in corners to deter ants.
Plants that Repel Ants
If ants seem to be a problem in your garden you will want to steer clear of anything that can potentially harm your plants. Why not add a few extra plants to your garden to do the job? You can add specific plants to your garden that actually help protect against common nuisances including ants with other insects. Check out these plants that repel ants so you can worry a little less about what’s crawling around.
Tansy – This is a tall herb which produces vibrant colored blossoms and has fern-like foliage. It is notoriously known for driving away insects and pests like mice. Tansy can be planted in nearly any soil type and grows well in full sun or light shade.
Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) – If you have a garden in a nice shady area, this plant is a perfect addition to repel pests. These perform well to protect the bases of taller plants from ants and other insects due to its low growing quality. It happens to belong to the mint family and can be cut and used indoors as well for a natural ant repellent.
Ruta/Rue (Ruta graveolens) – This plants grows to a height of 2 feet and produces beautiful foliage blue-green in color. Rue, also referred to a garden rue, works well to repel ants and protect precious plants from other garden bugs. Plant it as a companion to some of your other plants or as a border along your flower bed to keep ants away!
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ants In Your Yard
It’s no fun coming across a mound of ants in your yard or garden. If you have outdoor pets or young children they can pose a very bothersome problem. While not necessarily harmful to your plants, ants could also become problematic in the garden. If Borax for ants isn’t an option for you here are some other natural ways to get rid of ants.
Ants have a unique trait of leaving scent trails once they’ve found a food source. These trails contain pheromones allowing other ants to follow by scent. This is why you often see a trail of ants marching along one behind another. The following methods are natural ways to get rid of ants by throwing off these scent trails.
Coffee grounds –
Placing coffee grounds, fresh or used, around your home will throw off the scent trails or worker ants searching for food. This can result in the worker ants not returning to their colonies with food and potentially lead to eradication of the colony. Coffee grounds can also provide beneficial nutrients to your garden’s soil.
Use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to repel ants from entering your home or garden. Combine equal parts vinegar to equal parts water in a spray bottle. The pungent scent is seen to repel ants along with other common pests. Shake the bottle well and spray along ant trails you find on pavement and around any entrances to your home.
Additional measures you can take to eradicate your ant problem is avoiding it from the get-go. Carpenter ants favor moist, decaying wood for creating their nests. Avoid using wood chips for your mulch in your garden if you want to deter ants from invading. Instead you can opt for a hay mulch or hiqh quality lucerne mulch.