Boric acid kills ants over time. Unlike spray insecticides that kill ants upon contact, with boric acid, the ants take the substance back to their nest. This slowly poisons the ants and their larvae. Because it targets the source of the ants, boric acid offers a relatively effective and low-cost method of ant treatment. Though boric acid is less toxic than many commercial pesticides, it can harm pets and children. Using sealed containers to present the bait helps keep the substance out of reach from curious little ones.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic container with lid
- Boric acid powder
Punch several small holes in the bottom edges of a plastic container. Ensure the holes are large enough for ants to get in and out.
Put one teaspoon of boric acid powder in a cup. Fill the cup to the top with jelly or peanut butter. Mix the boric acid power and the jelly together using a spoon.
Drop one spoon of the jelly/boric acid mix into the container. Put the lid back onto the container. Seal the lid with adhesive tape if you have children to make it difficult for them to open the box.
Position the baited container somewhere around the perimeter of your house. Ideally, set the container in a wall corner where you know ants travel.
Fill several other containers with the boric acid bait and seal. Space the containers at equal distances around the perimeter of your house. Look for dark corners or shaded paths that the ants may take.
Leave the boxes in place for three to four weeks. This should allow enough time for the ants to take the bait to the nest and for the poison to act.
Tips & Warnings
- Check the boxes after a few days. If you have a lot of ants in the area, then they may remove the bait faster. Replace bait in any empty boxes.
- Some sections of your house perimeter may have larger concentrations of ants. Leave more traps in these areas.
- Different ant species prefer different food types. If your sugary bait remains after two weeks, try switching to grease or peanut butter.
- Wash your hands after handling any of the boxes or the boric acid.
- Avoid adding too much boric acid. This can put ants off the bait.
- Texas Agricultural Extension Service; House-Infesting Ants And Their Management; Bastiaan M. Drees and Bil Summerlin
- Colorado State University Extension; Ants in the Home; W.S. Cranshaw; Jan. 2009
- University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension in Lancaster County; Ant Baits: A Least Toxic Control; Barb Ogg
- Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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