I have a problem with ant hills in my lawn. The ants can be found on my deck and on my front porch and now have even gotten into the house. I have heard that borax can be used to control them. What do I have to do?
By Ann B. from Basking Ridge, NJ
Well Boric acid will help controll them. I don't know if there is Boric acid in Borax soap power.
Since I wrote my last post I came across this in my local paper in a handyman column. A fella wrote in to the handyman column to say "he had being listening to a garden show on the radio and the commentator recommended using Borax soap and granulated sugar mixed in equal amounts to get rid of ants".The ants take the mixure back to the nest and consum both products. The Borax is deadly to them. The Borax and sugar mixture is non toxic and is biodegradable.
There is a recipe for the boric acid and sugar on this website somewhere. You have to mix it with water and put it out carefully. Depending on the ants you are having issues with, that recipe is for the little black ants that invade your kitchen. If you have fire ants, just lightly sprinkle corn meal around the outside of the ant hill. They will eat it and burst when it rehydrates. Fire ants are protein eaters. I used this after spending tons of money on store bought remedies that didn't work. I've been fire ant free for two years. If they come back, I'll just sprinkle some more corn meal on 'em.
I hope I don't sound cranky about this. I think 20 Mule Team Borax is a great, natural cleaner but it is toxic. Ask the ants and roaches. Dial's website and box say to not use it around children or pets. Box says Caution. Eye irritant. May be harmful if swallowed.
It's also not recommended for baby's skin. It is not described as biodegradable. It's a mineral compound mined from the earth. It's described as natural, harmless to washing machines, plumbing and septic systems, contains no phosphates or chlorine. All great stuff, but not biodegradable. I think it goes back into our water supply as 20 Mule Team Borax.
Oh dear, I do sound cranky, don't I.
When I see anthills outside I boil a 2 quart pot of water and pour it on them. Inside the house ant traps may work.
I have a book about using natural substances for just about anything. When I had ants in my pantry, it said to take lemon juice on a rag and wipe down the shelves. The ants are gone and haven't come back. It also said you can put lemon juice in a spray bottle and spray areas where you don't want them to come. Also, take those lemon peels and slice them up and sprinkly around the ant beds. I know you can take a orange peel and squeeze the oil out of it and rub it on your dogs and the fleas will go away. The cat hates it. He licks his fur and the orange oil is bitter so I don't' use it on him. Good luck.
You can also use cornstarch. That is one of the ingredients in ant traps. They ingest it, it bloats up their systems and they die. Sprinkle it around the areas that you see them. A less toxic thing to try, at least at first.
About 10% 20 mule team borax in squeeze bottle of corn syrup. Warm for few seconds in the microwave to dissolve. Put in cracks , areas that pets cannot eat it as enough of the mix will give them a sick stomach. Ants will carry it back to nest where it kills the queen and all of the colony. Queens can live up to 20 years and produce many more queens. Important to be patient for few days while they eat and run. Likely you have numerous colonies.
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