Borax is a natural cleaner that can kill ants and other insects by dehydrating them. Cleaning a home with borax, spreading the cleaner near entrances and crevices where ants enter, and baiting traps with a solution mixed with the cleaner can help rid buildings of ants and other insects. Using borax for ants is a natural, inexpensive, and often effective way to provide pest control without calling a professional.
For minor ant problems, treating only problem areas where the insects enter or gather is usually sufficient. Scoop out a small amount of borax to place in thin lines along the perimeters of rooms, in entryways, near the back of counters, and anywhere else ants may enter. Leaving out borax for ants near their entry points encourages them to eat the cleaner and leave.
If the ants are not eating the borax, mix the cleaner with equal parts sugar to make it more appealing. Some types of ants are pickier than others when choosing their food. Trying a mixture of six or seven parts sugar to three or four parts borax and gradually increasing the amount of borax over the course of several days will make the ants more likely to eat it.
Cleaning countertops, floors, and other hard surfaces with a mixture of the cleaner and hot water is another effective way to use borax for ants. Mix 1/2 cup (about 118 milliliters) of borax in one gallon (about 3.7 liters) of hot water to create a cleaning solution for mopping hard floors and washing counters and cabinets. Make sure to pay close attention to crevices and edges when using the borax mixture for cleaning to leave a residue that can help rid the area of ants.
Another way to use borax for ants is making ant traps with the cleaner. Mix a small amount of borax in with any food source you see ants eating in your home to poison them. Mixing a large sprinkle of borax on a shallow dish with honey, jelly, or molasses will draw the ants due to the sweet smell and taste, forcing them to ingest the borax. Soaking cotton balls in a mixture of warm water, honey, and borax and placing them in areas where you see ants gathering is an additional way to present the poison.
While borax is a natural cleaner, it can cause problems if it is ingested by small children and pets. Only use borax for ants in areas that are inaccessible to children and animals, and seek medical or veterinary assistance if your child or pet eats the cleaner.