This spring we had our usual invasion of ants. In a hurry to rid our house of the these pests, I purchased those terrible, expensive, poisonous ant traps at the supermarket. I tried a total of 3 different brands/types, but the traps did not work, mainly because the ants were not attracted to the bait. So out of desperation, I looked online for natural ant traps and found a bunch of recipes. Basically you need a bait (honey) and a poison (Borax), and the ratio of each must include enough bait to attract the ants and taste good and just enough poison to eventually kill them. Below is the recipe that worked best at our house. It was magical (and very cheap). I should have started with the natural homemade solution first – silly me.
- 1 tablespoon of hot water
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1/2 teaspoon of borax
Place the ingredients in a small glass jar, shake to mix. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture, slightly squeeze out the excess liquid, and put the cotton ball on a small lid. Place the ant trap where you see the most ants. After the ants have disappeared, discard the cotton ball and keep the lid for reuse. This method got rid of our ants in 24-36 hours. The recipe will be enough to make about 3 ant traps, and you can keep the extra solution in a jar with a tight lid for at least a month.
Note about Vegan-ness: No, honey is not vegan. Nor does killing ants follow my vegan philosophy of loving kindness. I am open to suggestions on controlling house ants without killing them. Also, I think corn syrup may work as well as honey. We had honey in the house because I received it as a gift from a bee keeper friend. I enjoy honey in my tea, but I don’t purchase it.
Note about Borax: Yes, borax is a poison so as with any ant trap, keep this away from pets and children. Do not let your toddler lick the ant trap like a lollipop or your dog gobble it down as a treat. But rest assure, Borax it is not acutely poisonous to humans and a large dose of borax is needed to cause severe symptoms. According the MSDS for 20 Mule Team® Borax, acute toxicity is 2.66g/kg of body weight in rats (this is the LD50 or the dose needed to kill 50% of rats). Using that info, the lethal dose for a 15 pound child would be about 18 grams. The 1/2 teaspoon of Borax in this entire recipe weighs 2 grams.