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Every spring, it happens – the warm weather arrives, and the ants come marching two-by-two into our kitchen, porch, and living room. That’s when you want to start making Borax ant traps.

A borax ant trap is a simple solution for getting rid of ants. It is super easy to make and even easier to use. What’s even better is that you may already have the ingredients on hand.

Borax ant traps work by enticing the ants to take “food” back to their nest. The food is tainted with Borax, which will kill off the colony at its source.

Ants in the house
Ants in the house on the baseboards and wall angle

Savory or Sweet Borax Ant Trap?

Did you know that some ants are more attracted to sugar, while others will gravitate toward something savory? That’s why Borax ant traps can be made in two ways – sweet and savory.

Sweet borax ant traps use sugar. Savory ones work well with peanut butter.

In most cases, these traps will work within a short period -approximately one day. The ant prevention will last at least a few weeks.

A warning: Borax is a simple household detergent that many people keep around, but it can be dangerous to kids and pets. Be sure to place your ant traps where kids and pets cannot access them!

borax ant trap ingredients
Make a Sweet or Savory Borax Ant Trap with just a few simple ingredients.

How to make a Sweet Borax Ant Trap

A sweet borax ant trap is made by mixing three ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon borax – Borax is pretty cheap. You can get a whole box of Borax (which you can use all around the house) for less than $5.00!

Step 1 – Mix the ingredients together, then soak cotton balls in the mixture for about a minute. Press them down to be sure they are thoroughly soaked.

Step 2 – Remove the cotton balls and place them on a flat surface with a low edge (like a yogurt container cover). The edge should be high enough to keep any liquid from spilling over but low enough that the ants can get over it and back to take their “food” home.

If you don’t have cotton balls, you can also heat your sugar/borax/water mixture till it reaches a simmer and it will thicken up. You can pour this directly into your lid or plate and skip the cotton balls.

After Pic
12 hours after placing borax ant trap (ants are gone!)

How to Make a Savory Borax Ant Trap

A savory borax ant trap is also made with three ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Borax
  • 2 Tablespoons warm water

Step1 – Mix these ingredients together until well blended

Step 2 – Spoon out into your lid or container with a small lip (same as above).

This recipe will give you two generous spoonfuls that can be used to make two traps if desired.

How to Use Your Borax Ant Trap

No matter which method you use, all you have to do is place your Borax ant trap where you normally see ants coming and going. Ideally, place the trap near the ants’ entry point. Remember to place it out of reach of pets and children.

If you have more than one ant hot spot, the recipes above offer more than enough to make 2 to 3 traps that can be placed in various locations.

Typically, the ants will start congregating around this new source of food within an hour. 12 hours later, they will be gone, and your room will be ant-free.

If you try the sweet method to no avail, try the savory method (and vice versa) the next time. If the ants return, you may have to repeat the process after a week or so.

These ant traps were much more successful than store-bought “safe” traps.

Best of luck with your marching ants – here’s hoping they will not be marching in your kitchen for much longer!

Remember that ants are attracted to water and food crumbs. Keep your space clean to ensure the ants gravitate toward the trap instead of other enticing options.

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Carrie Williams Howe is an educational leader by day and an aspiring homesteader by night and weekend. She lives on a small homestead in Vermont with her husband, two children, and a rambunctious border collie. She blogs about her family's homestead life at The Happy Hive.

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