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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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Sunday 30th of June 2024

If you have pets in your house, an easy way to put this bait out safely is to drill/melt/cut small holes in old prescription bottles, put the cotton balls inside, then put the lids on and place the bottles around anywhere the ants are seen. The safety caps on the pill bottles keep even the most clever of cats from opening them, and the ants can still get to the bait. I keep a tub in my basement with all the ingredients for the bait, several pre-drilled bottles, and a small Ziploc full of cotton balls so that I am prepared in the spring when the ants first arrive.


Saturday 6th of April 2024

I used your formula for sugar ants in a persistently problem area. Highly effective in a day or two, and highly effective in the long term. At another home where the ants seemed to like meats (savory) I used a little meat blood. I make up about 2 Tbs. of solution, refrigerate and pour out 1/2 Tsp. on a plastic lid. That does the trick.


Sunday 29th of October 2023

How long does this mixture last?


Monday 4th of September 2023

When my husband and I were building our first house someone told us to sprinkle borax in the spaces where the walls would be before the sheetrock was installed. We dutifully did it and the entire 14 years we lived in that house we had no ants or roaches. When we built our second house we did the same and again had no ant or roach problem the entire 28 years we lived in that house. We have since bought a previously owned house which has had termite and ant problems. We swear by borax as a preventative and are going to try it now as a remedy.


Friday 21st of July 2023

Worked like a charm!! We were a bit skeptical at first as we watched ants walk by the bait. Within due time they made their way onto cotton balls. We had quite the imfestion. We had (7) areas we baited. By early evening just a couple stragglers were left. This morning I’m happy to report NO ANTS!! Thank you for sharing this tip. Blessings to all🙏🏻