H is for Housekeeping: Homemade Ant Killer (That Really Works!)
Every spring and fall it seems that tiny, pesky, black ants invade some part of my house. With two small children who drag crumbs and debris where ever they go, it seems I am just doomed to fight this battle every year. We moved to a new house last summer and I was hopeful that the ant invasion would not follow us here, but no such luck. As soon as the weather turned cool last fall, those little buggers appeared. Yuck! I have tried sprays, powders, traps, sticky poisons and even my beloved essential oils. Most of these things would work for a few days but quickly the problem would return. Last fall, I came across a homemade solution to kill ants that I thought was worth a try. I really liked how the ingredients were simple and things I already had on hand. It makes me feel a lot better to put out a solution like this in my home than one filled with toxic and potentially dangerous chemicals. Of course I keep my children and pets away from this ant killer too, but if they were to get into it, it would be safer than commercial ant poison. Okay, are you ready for the “recipe”? Here goes:
Homemade Ant Killer
1/3 cup of sugar
1 Tablespoon Borax
1 cup of hot water
Combine the three ingredients and stir well until the sugar and borax are completely dissolved in the solution. I keep mine in a small plastic storage container. That’s it! So simple to make and one batch will last you awhile. I used the batch I made last fall again just recently (I swirled it around in the container first to make sure it was well mixed) and it worked like a charm.
If you are not familiar with Borax, it is a detergent booster that comes in a box and can be found inexpensively at most grocery or super stores in the laundry section. Borax, also known as sodium borate, is considered a mineral and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white and contains colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water. I do have a box on hand, even thought I don’t use it for laundry, as I have used it for several different craft and cleaning projects. I am going to try it in a floor cleaner recipe soon – stay tuned for an update on how that turns out.
Directions for Use
Thoroughly saturate a cotton ball with the ant killer solution and place on a thin piece of cardboard (like a piece of cereal box) or an index card. Place near the ant trail and be patient. I will warn you that the ant situation gets worse before it gets better. For the first 1-2 days, the ants will swarm to the cotton ball like crazy. It can be quite unnerving to see just how many ants will come to the bait. I have already had an invasion this spring in my laundry room. On the morning of day two, my husband exclaimed, “I think your ant stuff is working a little too well!” The key is to just leave them alone. I know it is tempting to squish them or sweep them up but resist the temptation. They will bring the tasty (and poisonous) solution back to the nest and kill off the whole colony. I put a freshly saturated cotton ball out every evening and by day 3 or 4 the ants are totally gone and do not come back. I have been amazed at how well this works. I have never had so much success with a store bought ant killer.
I have read that this kind of solution works best for sugar ants. If your ants are not drawn to this solution, they may be grease ants and you will want a similar solution that has something greasy, such as butter, in it. Do a little research online and you will be able to find a variation.
I hope this combination works as well for you as it has for me. Drop me a line and let me know. As crazy as it may sound, it really gives me peace of mind to know that I have a easy and safe solution for ants at my fingertips.
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