Homemade Borax Ant Killer: The Most Effective Natural Remedy

  • Written By: Phil Hawes
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Are you looking for a natural way to get rid of ants? Look no further than homemade borax ant killer!

We all know that ants can be annoying little pests, but did you know that they can also be potentially dangerous to your health?

While there are many commercial ant killers on the market, they can contain harmful chemicals that are bad for you and the environment. So using them around your home and family just adds a risk you don’t need to take.

Borax, on the other hand, is a natural mineral that is effective at killing ants and is also safer when used correctly. This is why I’ve always called it the most effective natural remedy for ants and other pests.

So, in this article, I will show you how to make your own homemade borax ant killer. This natural ant killer is easy to make and is just as effective as the chemical-based products on the market.

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How Borax Kills Ants

Borax is among the most widely available boric acid compounds. You can literally buy it anywhere from your local grocery store to the hardware store, or even certain pharmacies.

Borax is a compound that naturally occurs when boron, sodium, and oxygen mix and is most commonly found in dry lake beds. It’s a very close cousin to boric acid which itself is an excellent pesticide.

When it comes to ants, Borax will dehydrate any food the ant consumes and then gradually destroy its digestive system. This will kill those pesky little ants, dead!

Borax is a very versatile compound and has a snowy white or colorless look. It can be utilized as an ant killer or sometimes drying out the wood, which is ideal for fire-starter materials, producing slimes, soaps, laundry stimulants, and some other fun household crafts.

Although it’s safe to touch in most cases, it certainly shouldn’t be ingested and you should be careful about touching your eyes after using it. In extreme cases where copious amounts of the compound have been swallowed, death can occur in both humans and pets.

In addition, as certain varieties of ants may process and metabolize borax or boric acids differently, its efficacy as an insecticide can sometimes be diminished. In these cases, you just want to increase the dosage you use to increase the toxicity in the ant.

A Step-by-step Guide To Preparing A Homemade Borax Ant Killer

I’ve been using Borax for a long time to decimate ant colonies in my house and on my property. I can assure you that this homemade Borax ant killer can be just as effective as store-bought pesticides.

What’s more, ever since I started using my Borax formula, unsurprisingly, I haven’t seen new colonies or parades of marching ants forming in my kitchen or yard.

The thing I love most about it is that this homemade Borax ant killer is considerably more cost-effective in the long term than purchasing ants traps again and again.

guide to Homemade Borax Ant Killer - homelesspests

So, how do you actually make it? This is all you need to know:


  • water
  • borax
  • sugar
  • cotton balls

Mixing the ant killer:

  • Combine one and half cups of tap water with one and a half tablespoons of borax, and then add half a cup of sugar.

Applying the ant killer:

You have to use sugar in this recipe because the ants will not consume borax on its own. The compound apparently has no taste for them, so you need something sweet to attract it. Also, it has no smell, so these ants won’t even be able to detect it. So, don’t forget that spoonful of sugar (well half at any rate).

After preparing our homemade borax solution/ant trap, it is necessary to find the ant’s nest. If you haven’t found it yet, then you can check out the following article to help you locate a hidden nest. This really is essential for determining where to put the Borax where it can do the most damage.

Basically, following the ant’s trail will lead you to their nest. When you notice any individual ants inside your house or yard, you should track them for a short distance and see if you can find any long ant highway. All forager ants communicated food sources through pheromone-soaked tracks which go directly from the nest to the goodies.

Targeting busy ant thoroughfares and/or their nests is the best opportunity to have several ants consume the borax trap you set out for them.

After soaking them in the solution, place several cotton balls around the ant nest. The sugary borax solution will attract the foragers, who will consume it and die out over the next few days. This is essentially going to kill off the entire colony if you keep applying the borax traps.

After succeeding in your task, you need to think about why the ants were present in your home or yard in the first place. Cleaning up and eliminating every potential source of food is essential to keep the ants out for good. Their colony will endlessly reappear as long as they can detect tasty sugary foods, so make sure yours are firmly locked away.

How Quickly Does Borax Work, And Is It A Permanent Solution?

In my experience, homemade Borax requires some time to start working its magic. Even when using Boric acid (the refined form of the compound) you won’t see the desired effects right away. An effective borax treatment against an entire colony infestation requires commitment and patience. That being said, normally within 48 to 72 hours, I start to see results, and the number of forager ants is normally significantly reduced.

Additionally, if you really want this to work, these homemade borax ant traps have to be replaced several times. I’d recommend applying a few new cotton buds each week for at least a month or until you don’t see any ants returning.

The cotton buds tend to try out in a few hours and I always feel that they attract the most ants when they are still moist. If everything goes according to our plan, those ant tracks will disappear over the course of several weeks.

Of course, you are going to speed up the process by keeping your home free of ant-enticing food and making your yard as inhospitable to ants as possible.

Is Using Borax To Bait Ants Safe Around The Home (Children/pets)?

Borax, as I said before, is a naturally occurring compound and it’s certainly safe to handle but it’s toxic if consumed in large quantities. If you have curious kids or pets, then don’t leave sugar-infused borax cotton balls lying around.

When it comes to your average pet, just like with humans, any cats or poochies that come into contact with this compound and ingest it may experience physical complaints. The typical symptoms of borax ingestion are nausea or vomiting as well as diarrhea. Borax is also an irritant to the eyes and throat.

If you think that it’s not worth taking the risk, then you might want to use diatomaceous earth as a much safer substitute for Borax. Although this isn’t a toxic pesticide DE will rip up and ant nicely and have its body fatally dehydrating in days. Read more about how to use diatomaceous earth against ants here.

If you still want to use Borax to terminate a colony of ants, ensure to keep it out of the reach of your lovely pets and kids. I put my Borax solution in a plastic container, labeled it, and then placed it inside a drawer to prevent dangerous accidents.

Can I Use Borax To Kill An Entire Ant Colony?

As I’ve alluded to, borax can be used to kill off an entire colony over time. You are initially targeting the foraging ants which bring back food to their nests. When these die off, the remaining casts of ants will literally starve to death, or venture out to encounter your baits too.

The trick is to mix your borax with something which these forager ants will carry back to their nests. And that’s why I suggest using cotton balls dipped in the toxic borax sugar solution.

Every ant that consumes the trap containing Borax or boric acids usually perishes between 24 to 48 hours.

Depending on the size of the ant colony, it may take a few days up to a few weeks for the borax to infiltrate the ant population and eventually reach their lovely queen, and also kill off every single ant worker inside the ant colony.

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