Does Borax kill ants? How to bait & kill them with a DIY recipe

Yes, borax kills ants. It enters their system, wreaks havoc on their digestive system, and kills them.

There’s not much more annoying than when you suddenly start seeing ants run across your kitchen floor

borax on aluminum foil

Okay, that’s not true. It may be worse if it’s either rats. Killing ants is at least a pretty straightforward process. 

One day you see one of them, and the next day it seems like they’ve multiplied. There are now a million of them. 

How does that relate to Borax?

It has a reputation for being able to take care of these little animals. It’s not that it can only take care of one type of infestation. 

It’s also great for cockroaches and other insects. 

 Borax is also sometimes referred to as sodium borate or sodium tetraborate. When you see this on a container, you know the active ingredient. 

terro ingredients

The lazy (and cheap) way with the best ant killer

The most popular (and effective) ant killer you can get on Amazon uses this active ingredient. It’s some incredibly useful stuff as well. 

If you’ve already decided that you won’t make your combination, we can highly recommend simply getting Terro Killer by pressing the link below. Read the reviews, and you’ll see that there isn’t a lot that compares to it. 

terro ant killer

I’ve had a $5ish bottle for 2 years now and am only ⅓ through it despite dealing with several ant infestations. 

More on Borax

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral and has even been used for homemade laundry soap like 20 Mule Team Borax detergent booster. Liquid, tablets, or powder are just some of the various forms it comes in. At the same time, you can also find it as paste and sprays. 

Is Boric acid the same as borax? 

Boron is present in both materials. Boric acid and Borax are not the same things, although they are very similar. Where they come from is their main difference. Boric acid is extracted from sassolute. On the other hand, borax is usually extracted from tourmaline and kernite.

Will sprinkling borax kill ants?

They will have to eat it, but yes. It’s a very potent poison that will affect their digestive system to the point where it will kill them. What you’ll need to know is that ants won’t be enticed to eat it without you adding other stuff to it. It’s simply not attractive to them in its raw form. You will have to trick them, but it is not hard.

It’s why you’ll need to mix it with something that they’re truly interested in. The good news is that it’s very easy to make. 

It will make that infestation problem go away faster than you could have imagined it was going to. 

The good thing about using this recipe or the Terro product I recommended above is how saw it is to have around. Humans aren’t affected by it the same way that these little black creatures are. However, it doesn’t mean that you should necessarily be eating it either.

You don’t want anything lying around the house that your toddler could accidentally get sick from eating. The low toxicity rate for humans and pets makes it a very attractive option.

On the other hand, when they consume it, ants will suffer a grave destiny. 

By itself, Borax is just an odorless substance that ants won’t find very enticing. You can leave it inside or outside; they couldn’t care less. 

When a mixture is made with something that they like eating, it is a different ball game. There are various things you can use for this delicious, homemade cocktail. Sugar is the most common thing to mix with it.

However, there are other things you can use as well for this ant-killing poison. Trap them by mixing the powder with some of their favorite foods like honey or syrup. Peanut butter is yet another option.

You can construct this heavenly cocktail and put it where the infestation is. It doesn’t matter if it’s your normal home or a travel trailer. They will flock once they see there’s food.

We love how these little guys do all the work for you. With almost all other pests, you’ll need to seek out getting rid of them actively. Once you’ve made your mixture, you just put it out. 

However, it’s important to be strategic about where you put it out. The best thing you can do is to put it on the path where they’re always walking. 

The easier you make it for them to get it, the easier it will be for you to get rid of the ant infestation. 

I tried several different borax ant-killing products before writing this article. 

What seemed to make the biggest difference was accessibility. When the ants had an easy time getting to the sugar-borax trap, the infestation would go away a lot faster. 

It also means I do not recommend getting one of the little containers where they have to enter a fortification before gaining access to it. The more you can put it right in their little faces, the quicker it works. 

You will get rid of the problem in a matter of days if it’s a small colony. However, a large colony may take a week or so to get rid of if you put out enough of the mixture. It will kill off the queen, and the entire colony will fall. Great success!

How to kill ants with this 3-ingredient borax, sugar, and water ant killer recipe

  1. Buy borax on Amazon.

    Amazon is the most convenient way to get it. You might be able to get it from a grocery store as well, but I found it cheaper on Amazon when I compared it to the price of my local grocery store. This way, it also showed up the very next day. 

    You don’t need all that much of it. If you get a pound, you will be able to make a lifetime’s worth of this mixture. 

    Or you can get the Terro product if you aren’t worried about making an overwhelming amount. Getting the liquid will be cheaper than buying a pound of borax.borax

  2. Get your workstation ready.

    Get borax, sugar, and warm water out. sugar

  3. Mix the ingredients.

    You’ll want one part borax and three parts sugar. Warm water is added slowly and stirred. It should form a sludge when you’re done. mixing ant killer

  4. Rip 2 by 2-inch pieces of aluminum foil.

    I like putting out enough of them so that you’ll get the results faster. ants eating homemade borax recipe

  5. Put the mixture on the aluminum foil.

    The aluminum foil is placed along the path of the ants. Make sure they can easily climb on top of it. Soon you’ll see swarms of ants. All their little workers are coming out to feast and bring it back to the colony! The solution will even work in your VW.

    This image was taken 10 minutes after I put the solution out.Ants on aluminum foil

The advantage of putting it on top of aluminum foil is that it won’t leave a mess. Rather than having a sugary substance on the ground that you’ll need to clean, you can toss it out afterward. It’s also the best way to get rid of ants if you see them all over your carpet in the room.

I also put some on the carpet by the air ducts because I’d seen them there. An interesting fact I came across I didn’t know about ants is that they don’t pee. Who would have thought?

Where I disagree with other articles

Some people out there have talked about soaking a cotton ball. Others say you should put it in a container. I frankly disagree with both of those ideas. There’s no reason to overcomplicate things. 

The ants will climb on top of the aluminum foil and eat it and bring it back. It’s not very complicated and doesn’t take a long time. 

There are also other articles that suggest you make the mixture with peanut butter. The issue with that is that it’s a lot harder to mix. There’s no reason to bait them with something that’s harder to make than it has to be.

With my recipe, you’re ensuring that the problem is dealt with in an easy way. In theory, you could make the mixture with anything that they like to eat. It doesn’t mean everything they like to eat will mix equally well. 

How to get rid of sugar and fire ants in the kitchen, outside, or in the bathroom permanently.

It even works in your car. The great news is that when you put out the borax mixture, you will see overnight results in your mission to get rid of the ants. 

Sugar and fire ants in the kitchen, outside, or bathroom will be drawn to this borax mixture. You’ll get rid of them permanently. It’s even a natural way of doing it. Try it in your potted plant, apartment, or vegetable garden. Just put it on top of a piece of aluminum foil, and there will not even be any mess.

The good news is that this is much more effective than vinegar, diatomaceous earth, or peppermint oil. You won’t go back to wanting to try baking soda or any type of essential oil after using this.

Are you seeing tiny, black ants in your garden? It works there as well. 

What do they eat? 

Even if you’re dealing with the biggest ant in the world or a flying one, they’ve got to eat. Inside or outside, they have various foods that they like to feast on. 

Ants are omnivorous. What does that mean? It means they are not picky eaters. 

Insect eggs, fruit, and aphids are just some of the things they feast on. Inside your home, they’ll start looking for sweet and animal foods. They will also seek out fat sources if you have left out any of those. 

It is a bit creepy, but the queen sometimes even eats her own eggs when food supplies are short. The workers have two stomachs that they use. One is for the community, and one is for the ant itself. The food will go into the community’s stomachs as they eat. When the worker needs food, some of the food from the community stomach is transferred to the other. 

When the worker returns from fetching food, the food from the community stomach is shared. 

Does bleach kill ants?

You can use bleach to kill ants. However, it’s not what we’d recommend you do. Traps and bait are a much more effective solution to get rid of the problem. 

Using bleach also has other various issues. Just because Clorox can be used to kill them doesn’t mean it should be used. Using the borax sugar mix instead is a much more effective method that ensures you get rid of the egg-laying queen ant. 

There’s no assurance you’re getting the queen when using bleach to spray. Also, there could be more than one queen. Bleach has its purposes but using it as a pest removal tool is not one of the ideal ones. 

The bleach can also leave some nasty stains if the colony is inside your house and you decide to spray it there. Besides potentially staining surfaces, it could also emit fumes you don’t want to inhale. They are dangerous to both animals and humans.

You’re only killing the ants you can see if you decide to spray them. They’ll breathe in the damaging substance through their exoskeleton and die. However, they won’t be returning it to the colony for the rest to feed on. 

It’s sometimes hard to find out where the actual infestation is. You will want to spray there, at least if you’re going the bleach route. 

Is it worth getting an exterminator for ants?

You might be tempted to call a pest control company when you see little black ants running across your kitchen floor. The reality is there’s no need to get an exterminator for this job.

Getting an exterminator out and having them deal with the problem will usually cost you $100. Honestly, it’s more for the hassle of going out than anything. 

While the exterminator may say they have a special product they’re using, it’s usually not the case. They’ll also use a product like Terro and won’t tell you. It will be equally effective whether or not you use it or they do. It’s all about making it accessible.


How long does it take for borax to kill ants?

It takes 24-48 hours to kill them using borax. The great news is that it’s not just the lonely ant that will suffer when they get it. They are very social creatures, which works to our advantage in this case. 
They’ll send our their little workers scouring for food. When they find it, they like to take it back and share it with the rest. After just a couple of days of leaving this stuff out, you won’t have a problem anymore. 
However, you will see lots of ants coming to munch on it when it is out because the rest of the workers will get called. They’re a much easier type of pest to get rid of than many other pests you may find at home. 

Does borax kill carpenter ants?

Yes, borax will kill carpenter ants. It will kill almost any type, including fire and black ants. 

Is borax not working on your ant infestation?

It’s probably because they’re not eating it. You’ll get results quickly if you follow the homemade ant killer recipe we’ve posted on our website. 

Does borax kill the queen ant?

Yes, it’s brought back to the colony. There, the queen gets some as well.