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Boric Acid for Ants

Rajib Singha
Boric acid can be used as a natural exterminator for ants and their entire colony. Here are some quick tips on how to use boric acid to kill ants.
Ant invasion can be a bane for most homeowners, especially in summer.
Although you may avail insecticides from the market to manage the problem, when it comes to health of your family and your environment, such products may not be a good choice. Moreover, commercial ant killing products may be expensive.
A safer, natural and cost-effective product you can use to keep your house ant-free is boric acid. This substance possesses insecticidal, fungicidal, and herbicidal properties. It is able to kill ants internally by poisoning them and externally by damaging their exoskeleton.
Boric acid does not evaporate and so it does not pose any threat to health unlike commercial insecticides. However, when ingested in large amounts, it can be poisonous and result in severe side effects. But overall, boric acid is much safer than using insecticides to get rid of ants or other insects.

Boric Acid Trap to Kill Ants

Make a mix of sugar (10 tsp.), boric acid (1 tsp.), and water (2 cups). Mix the ingredients thoroughly, and put the mix in a container.
Place the container in places mostly frequented by ants. Note that the amount of boric acid should be less than that of other ingredient in the bait. A bait containing too much boric acid may not attract any ant. But again, too less of the acid may not be effective either. So adjust the ratio of the ingredients and see which one is the most effective.
You can also experiment with honey, jam, jelly, syrup, maple syrup or peanut butter in lieu of sugar to make the bait.
Tip I: Your boric acid bait is the most effective when an ant is able to carry it to its nest for the other ants to feed on it. This way you can get rid of more ants within a short time. So, keep the amount of boric acid in the bait as such that it does not kill an ant as soon as it ingests it. So even for this you may need to experiment with the dosage.
Tip II: To ensure that your bait works well, determine what food the ants in your house love the most. Before preparing the bait, place tiny samples of sweet treats (such as the ones mentioned above) in the house, and note what these insects are attracted to the most.

How to Use Boric Acid Traps

# Before placing the bait for the ants, you need to take care of a few things. Seal all cracks or holes in the house, and get rid of any food pieces which might have gotten stuck in nooks and crannies. Clean all appliances in the kitchen, those containing food.
Boric acid may be harmful to pets. So while choosing the location, ensure that your pet does not have any access to it. Placing the bait just anywhere might make the place look less tidy. So you can place it on small strips of wax paper, tin foil or inside straws. In this way, you need not worry about getting the place cleaned every time you change the bait.
# Baits usually lose their freshness after a day or two and become less effective in attracting ants and killing them. So it is a good idea to change the bait and keep it in the same place.
# Continue placing the ant baits until you see that there is no ant frequenting the place. During the first few days of placing the ant traps, you may notice more ants frequenting the place than usual. But gradually the ants would start decreasing in their number as more and more of them get killed.
Apart from using boric acid you can also use a spray of a mix of soap and solution to get rid of the ants. Alternatively, you can also benefit by using orange peels. Soak them in water overnight and use the solution to spritz the insects. Another solution that can be lethal to ants is one that is made by steeping tobacco leaves in warm water.