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Yes — Borax got rid of the ants!

Here’s how to use Borax to get rid of ants in your home! It’s easy, and so much more affordable in the long run than the little ant baits.

Use Borax to get rid of ants

Note: This post is a blast from the pretty far past. Originally published in 2013, using Borax to kill ants is still relevant today — because these darn ants, they are back every year.

When I ran a Borax giveaway a while back, several of you asked if using Borax really did get rid of the ants. Survey says: Yes! I haven’t seen one in my kitchen since putting out this Borax recipe a couple of times. It works at least as well as, if not better than, the little ant bait things — and is so much more affordable in the long run than investing in baits over and over again.

It’s easy to use Borax to kill ants, and picking up Borax is a better long term investment, since you can also use it for other purposes.

Use Borax to get rid of ants

Do you see a new annoying batch of tiny ants every spring too? I always get a bunch of little ants coming into my kitchen under one of the cabinets that backs up against an outside wall. I originally saw a suggestion online to sprinkle a line of Borax and sugar along where the ants are coming in, but didn’t want to leave that out because of our cats.

So instead, I used this effective ant-killing Borax recipe from The Happy Housewife:

  1. Mix 1/2 C sugar, 1 1/2 Tbsp Borax, and 1.5 C warm water.
  2. Soak some cotton balls in the mixture, and put them out near the mess of ants.
  3. The sugar attracts the ants, and they’ll take the Borax with it back to their home.
  4. Eating the Borax kills the ants!

If you have small children or pets, be sure to keep them away from Borax — and always wash your hands after using. 

Note: Thanks to several commenters who add that: If your ants don’t seem to be attracted to sugar, try mixing in some peanut butter instead. They may have a savory tooth rather than a sweet tooth! Just like people, insects are all different… 🙂

Some ants do love sugar…

ants around borax cotton ball

BOY do these particular ants like this mixture. In the initial Boraxian experiment, I locked the cats in the bedroom for a few hours and set several soaked cotton balls in a line along the edge of the cabinet where the ants were coming in. I let the ants go to town, picked up the cotton balls, wiped up the floor, then let the cats out. Then, I repeated the experiment for a second round of about an hour later in the evening (seeing many fewer ants on this second go-round). By morning? No new ants in sight.

Tip: Try mixing in peanut butter for a more savory ant-attracting formula, if your batch of ants doesn’t seem to care for the sugar.

The Borax Effect lasts for some time. When the ants inevitably return, though, it’s super easy to whip up another little batch.

Have you tried Borax to get rid of ants in your home? Comment here and let us know how it worked for you!

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Monday 30th of January 2023

I tried it all around the kitchen, but the cotton balls dried out quickly. I drip some water on them each day to re-moisten them, but I wonder if borax loses it's strength each time I add the drops of water. Ants are still coming onto the cotton balls 1 week later, but are they just eating the sugar now? Has the borax lost its effectiveness? Anyone know??

Joseph S Romano

Friday 27th of January 2023

Let me know if you have any better ideas to kill ants.

George Czupryk

Wednesday 17th of August 2022

very effective. took 3 days but all ants gone.


Thursday 23rd of June 2022

When we started having ant problems years ago, we purchased the name brand ant killers. They reduced the number of ants, but the ants were never gone. Then we went to a “Do it yourself” professional pest control store and they sold me a bottle of ant killer for $70.00! A week later, a small amount of ants were still there. I went on the internet and made a batch of the borax, sugar water recipe and the ants were gone in 2 days. We haven’t seen ants in the house for years. We put the mixture around the exterior house foundation every so often and there is never a problem.


Thursday 12th of May 2022

I have several ant hills outside, one is really huge and is near the house, the others aren't. The problem is with my neighbor's dogs, they let them run loose yet have complained to my daughter about the ant hill. If I do anything to poison those ants and something happens to those dogs they will sue me. I have 2 different kinds of ants coming in the house now, tiny tiny black ones and normal sized black ones like the ones in the hills. I also have an older cat so I need to be careful inside.

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