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What is a good homemade ant killer?

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βˆ™ 2009-09-13 23:22:07

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Quite by accident while away from home, I found out that toothpaste will kill ants immediately on contact (it was all I had available when I noticed an invasion one night.) These were very intrepid and adamant ants, even resistant to squashing. But when, in desperation, I smeared a glob along their marching path, they stopped dead in their tracks. I don't know if different brands have the same effect, but what I had on hand was some cheap off-brand stuff. It also kept them at bay when I globbed it around their entrance hole, but I don't know if it kept working after the toothpaste dried.

Other than that, I've seen numerous recipes for homemade bait, with the active ingredient being boric acid (Borax.) You mix it with sugar, honey, molasses, or any other sweet to bait the ants, then they take it back to their nests and the boric acid poisons the entire colony. The ratio of boric acid to sweet ingredients varies widely in the recipes, and I think you just need to experiment until you find the recipe that works for your variety of ant. I'd start with a cup of honey or corn syrup with 2 Tablespoons of Boraxo mixed in first, then see how the ants take to it. If there's too much Boraxo, they might not take the bait, but if there's too little, they might gobble it up without dying. Some ants like meat/protein, so you could also mix the Boraxo with bacon grease or peanut butter.

With Boraxo, you have to be careful that it's kept out of reach by kids or pets. One idea I read online recommended putting the bait in plastic containers with holes punched for the ants to get in, but I don't know of any toddler who can't open a yogurt container. I'd just be really careful if I had kids around. Make sure the ants can get in & out, but not the kids or Fido.

Another thing I've read for a bait they take back to kill the nest is using baker's yeast mixed with a sweet. The idea is that the yeast will expand and kill them when they eat it. I don't know if it works as well as the Boraxo recipe, but the advantage is that yeast won't poison kids or pets.

There are other things that work, if you just want a spray poison to kill them immediately (such as bleach water, ammonia, vinegar), but it seems worth it to take the time to bait them so they'll eventually die off and never come back.

2009-09-13 23:22:07
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