How to Make a Borax Ant Trap

How to Make a Borax Ant Trap

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A borax ant trap is a simple solution for getting rid of ants. It is easy to make and use. Many households will already have the ingredients on hand.

They are also pretty cheap. You can get a whole box of Borax (which you can use all around the house) for less than $5.00!

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 we start making Borax ant traps.

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 marching in a line up the wall
Every spring the ants come marching…

Savory or Sweet?

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. We have had luck with both in different years. These days I make one of each to cover our basis.

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

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

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

A word of 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 will not have access to 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

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

Remove the cotton balls and place them on a flat surface with a low edge (such as 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 up 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.

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

Mix these the ingredients together until well blended then spoon out into your lid or container with small lip (same as above). This recipe will give you two generous spoon fulls that can be used to make 2 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’ point of entry, but 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 2-3 traps and place them in various locations.

Typically, the ants will start to congregate around this new source of food within an hour, and by 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. You may have to repeat the process after a week or so if the ants return.

In our experience these ant traps were much more successful than store-bought “safe” traps that attracted ants and killed them too quickly to eliminate the colony.

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

Be sure to check out our “maker space” for more ideas of household items you can make yourself – from laundry detergent to dryer balls and furniture polish!

How to make Borax Ant Traps PIN
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Carrie Williams Howe
Blogger & Homesteader at The Happy Hive
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 is a Founder and Editor of Homestead How-To and also blogs about her family's homestead life at The Happy Hive.


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