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Borax for ants - it’s a safe, eco-friendly solution to rid your home of these prolific pests.
A natural compound that is found in many detergents and cleaning products, borax is non-toxic and has been used by people for years.
It can easily be mixed into a bait to get rid of ants.
But is it truly safe - and is it effective at ridding your home of ants?
Here’s what you need to know.
Borax is a powdery white substance that is also known as disodium tetraborate, sodium borate, and sodium tetraborate.
A common household cleaner and laundry detergent additive, it is a simple combination of oxygen, sodium, and boron.
It is naturally found in places such as dried-up lake beds (California’s Death Valley is an example).
It is prevalent here because the water evaporated and left behind substantial amounts of mineral deposits.
When you’re considering the effectiveness of borax as a pest control treatment, it’s important to recognize that borax is slightly different from boric acid.
Boric acid is made out of the same chemical compound as borax and the two names are often used interchangeably for either product.
However, it is boric acid that is typically used on ants and other pests instead of borax, which is used for cleaning.
Both have similar formulations and purposes, however.
Borax and boric acid is often used to help homeowners get rid of ants.
Borax for ants is toxic to them, as is the case with most other insects.
It disrupts their digestive processes and is slow-acting, meaning it relies on the worker ants to bring multiple rounds of boric acid back to the rest of the colony.
For the most part, borax and boric acid are effective treatments to help you get rid of ants in your home - especially if you don’t want to have to rely on synthetic products.
Not all ants respond the same to borax.
Some ants are less likely to accept baits, even if you put them in the perfect location.
You may have to consult a pest control professional to find the right treatment for your home.
Plus, keep in mind that borax for ants is slow acting and so it might not act immediately.
If there are multiple colonies of ants sending workers into your home, you might have to put out multiple treatments of boric acid in order to get rid of all of the colonies.
To understand how to kill ants with borax, you need to first know how an ant’s social structure works.
Ants, as you may already know, live in colonies.
Worker ants are the ones who leave the colony to find food - these are the ants you most likely see in your home.
Ants will bring food back to the colony.
To use borax against ants, you will need to put it out in a location where the worker ants will find it, eat some, and bring the rest back to the other ants.
When the ants eat the borax, it disrupts their digestive systems, eventually enough so that it kills them.
They don’t die immediately.
You will need to mix the borax with something else, however, in order to get the ants to eat it.
They won’t chow down on their own - you will need to add palatable ingredients like sugar and water to entice them to eat.
The best bait ingredient to mix with the borax will vary depending on what species of ant you are trying to target.
Do some research to decide for yourself.
While some ants prefer sugar, others might be more drawn to baits that contain greasy, fatty, or protein-rich foods (like peanut butter).
When an ant consumes the bait, it will begin to die in as little as one to two days.
The amount of time it takes to eliminate the whole colony will depend on how effective your bait was, where you placed the bait, and the size of the colony.
A larger colony will take more time to kill, of course, because it takes some time for the worker ants to get enough of the bait back to the colony to kill all of the ants within.
It is also important to pay close attention to the ratios of your mixture.
If you add too much borax, it won’t actually kill the ants because they probably won’t eat it in the first place.
Using 20 Mule Team borax for ants works great.
I've made dozens of homemade ant traps using this common household detergent, and although it takes a few days to completely remove the ants, it works great.
Since you only need a couple of tablespoons of borax, one box will be enough to last you a lifetime of making ant traps.
Or, as an added benefit, you can use the leftover borax for your laundry!
Here's the recipe for making the homemade ant trap:
Boil all of the ingredients in a saucepan, mix, and let it cool.
Don't add more than 2 tablespoons of borax because if you add too much it will kill the ants before they have the opportunity to take the borax back to the rest of the colony.
Once the bait is cool, you can pour it into small dishes, or simply soak a few cotton balls in the mixture and place them throughout your home where you've noticed ants.
While borax and boric acid are effective treatments for ants, it’s important to note that no remedy comes without any sort of risk.
Borax is no exception.
If ingested, it can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
Large amounts can cause kidney failure and other problems.
It can also irritate the eyes and skin as well as your respiratory system if you breathe it in.
Because of that, if you’re sensitive to borax or find that you need to use large amounts for it to be effective (or use any around food preparation or storage areas), you might want to choose a different ant remedy.
Following certain safety precautions is a good idea, too.
For example, you should always wear gloves, make sure the area is well-ventilated, and change your clothes if borax happens to touch it.
If you're dealing with an infestation of ants in your home, borax is a great option to use.
Borax is safe for humans and pets but toxic to insects which makes it the perfect solution to get rid of these pests without harming any other living beings in your house.
That said, borax also has the potential to kill beneficial insects like ladybugs and it can cause harm to humans or animals if it comes into contact with your skin.
Weigh the pros and cons of using borax for ants - when used correctly, however, this can be an effective remedy to help you get rid of these annoying pests.