Homemade Ant Killer Recipes

Category Ants
Store bought ant killers and pest control services can be expensive and toxic. Save money by making your own. This page has lots of green ideas for killing ants at home. These include borax, diatomaceous earth, boiling water and more. Just scroll down to read all the helpful feedback.

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These are great homemade options for those who dislike using premixed pest control.

Things You'll Need:

  • 1 Teaspoon Boric Acid
  • 1 Teaspoon Bleach
  • 1 Teaspoon Ammonia or Window Cleaner
  • 6 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Cups Super Hot Water
  • Cotton Balls
  • Resealable Disposable Type Container
  • Oatmeal or Grits

Boric Acid Solution:

Combine a small amount of boric acid, sugar and hot water in a spray bottle and swirl mixing thoroughly. Boric Acid can be purchased at any discount retailer ,under the name Borax. Make sure to keep this away from pets or children as it is hazardous. This is a good option for long term control.

Bleach Solution

Combine a small amount of bleach with hot water in a spray bottle and swirl mixing thoroughly. Make sure to keep this away from pets or children as it is hazardous. This is a good option for long term control. Using the name brands, like Clorox, does not add any additional killing power.


Spray Window cleaner liberally and watch them stop in their tracks, dead. This is a good option for short term control. It will have to be reapplied to be effective as the ants appear.

Oatmeal or Grits

Leave a few pieces of instant oatmeal or grits (some sort of water absorbing food) out where the ants are appearing. Get it as close to the nest as possible. The ant will take it back to the nest and eat it. Once eaten the food expands essentially popping the bug. Nice visual huh? Cruel but effective and non toxic. This option has to be applied frequently.

Now, if you don't want to kill the ants, but just want to keep them away from a particular area like a garden etc place a few drops of peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle and fill with water. Spray this generously around the area but try to avoid the plants themselves. Good luck.

Source: Homemade Ant Killer?

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April 24, 2004

If you find that you are being invaded by those small ants, or even the larger ones, don't run to the store for ant killer, just run to your laundry room and get the commercial spray that you use for removing stains. Just spray it on them and on their trail and you will be rid of them in no time and it is not toxic to your kids and pets. The stain removal product contains borax and that is what kills the ants.


Donna from Oregon

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May 12, 2010

Kill ants for good with uncooked grits! Just sprinkle the grits around where you have the ants and they eat them and die. Ants lack the ability to expel gas caused by the grits. This is the safest way to kill ants - no pesticides, safe for environment, pets, and kids.

By teresa from Shelbyville, KY

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To kill ants, mix equal parts of borax and powdered sugar with just enough drops of water to make a paste. Place on pieces of cardboard where you see ants. This works both inside and outdoors within hours.

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When we lived in Texas, I discovered that soapy water was the most effective tool against fire ant mounds. I used one gallon (recycled milk jug) of hot water and added about a teaspoon of dish liquid.


Pour over the mound and it will be gone within 24 hours!

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Use dry corn meal sprinkled where you see ants. They were coming up through the edge of the carpet and tile so I lifted the corner of the carpet enough to see them coming through a tiny hole. I put a small amount (less than 1/2 teaspoon) of corn meal on the tile and brushed it into the hole and carpet. It only took that one time and they have not come back in months now. I don't know why it works but it did for me.

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I read a hint about Sweet'N Low on ThriftyFun a month or two ago as I have a problem every spring with ants coming into my kitchen. I sprinkled two packages of Sweet'N Low on the window sill where they were coming in and have not seen any ants since.

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August 3, 2017

I tried nearly every product on the market to get rid of ants that made hills in cracks on my garage floor. The ants actually caused my garage floor to heave because they burrowed deep into the cracks and made hills.

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If you are dealing with the tiny black ants, I use non-stick spray to kill them around the sink. That way I don't have to worry about it getting any on the dishes.I really like this, it kills them dead with one spray.


I also spray the rim of the dog food bowl to keep them from getting in.

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I have 2 ways. I used to live way out in the country and have ants everywhere and both of these worked every time. And they are very safe.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 27, 2010

I am looking for a recipe for an indoor ant killer.

By Sandie Farrer


May 29, 20102 found this helpful
Best Answer

Equal parts sugar and 20 Mule Team Borax in a bottle cap with enough water to mix to a running paste has them lining up. Put it in the ant run--they like edges and shadows.


This also seems to work on other creepy-crawlies. I tried it and all problems just disappeared from a 50 year old farm house. It does take a couple of days though.

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June 13, 2013

What does boric acid syrup and water mixed together do to the ants when consumed and taken back to colony? Thanks.

By Randy D.


June 15, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

It kills them. Boric acid attacks the central nervous system.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 4, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

The borax is a salt and when the ants take it back to their nest it is given to the youngsters. Their exoskeletons crack and therefore they die.

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March 26, 2009

How can I make ant killer spray using household products?

By Chad A Pinkham from Sacramento CA


March 27, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Cornmeal sprinkled on the mounds works great. They carry it back to the mound, eat it, it swells in their stomachs and they die. Just another option that really works.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 27, 20093 found this helpful
Best Answer

Artificial sweeteners are fantastic ant killers- in fact, that's what the original intent was, when they were discovered (completely by accident- yeah, I'm serious, look it up!) to be sweet in flavor. Pour a few packets of the generic version of the stuff in the areas that the ants are frequenting, and watch 'em disappear.


I've had great luck with both the kind that comes in the pink, and the blue, packets (aspartame and saccharine). It's cheap, it works, and it won't kill your pets or your kids. At least, unless they eat a whole box of the stuff. Good luck! :o)

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February 18, 2017

Boric acid is a common ingredient in homemade recipes for killing ants. This page is about using boric acid for controlling ants in garden and kitchen.

Ants feeding on a solution of boric acid.

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February 1, 2017

Sugar ants find their way to where sweet stuff can be found. A homemade trap can be an effective way to get rid of them. This is a page about making a borax and honey ant trap.

Ants feeding from an ant trap/bait.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 26, 2009

I also could use a homemade ant killer. Thanks so very much.

Jamish from Ranson, KS


Homemade Ant Killer

Try blending orange peels and water. Pour the 'smoothie' down the ant hole. (06/30/2006)

By hwalz

Homemade Ant Killer

If the ants are in your house, spread mothballs around the foundation. I do this every spring and seldom have a problem, and if I do, it goes away real quick. (06/30/2006)

By debbie

Homemade Ant Killer

I just got one myself so we can try it together. You use 4 oz. of each; peanut butter, sugar, and boric acid. Blend well and place it in the ants path to where they are gathering. The person said it takes a couple of times, but that it works great. (07/01/2006)

By darcey

Homemade Ant Killer

Buy some 20 Mule Team Borax (not Borateem) on the laundry shelve of your local grocery. Sprinkle it along their path and around your house close to the foundation. Use the rest in your laundry! (07/09/2006)

By Mary

Homemade Ant Killer

Mix equal parts powdered sugar and Borax and spread around baseboards, or wherever the ants are traveling. Works every time. (07/10/2006)

By mm

Homemade Ant Killer

I tried nearly every product on the market to get rid of ants that made hills in cracks on my garage floor. The ants actually caused my garage floor to heave because they burrowed deep into the cracks and made hills. Finally, I discovered that cinnamon was a miracle. I sprinkled it heavily on the hills. Ants were gone completely in about 3 weeks, but definitely saw a difference in one week. I repeated every 2 months during summer. Then only needed it twice a year for the next year and now I use it once a year as a preventive. Plus the garage smells great! This is the best thing ever. Worked on red ants and black ants, that I know of. Make sure you know where they are coming from and sprinkle there. (04/25/2008)


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May 27, 2010

I want to find a recipe for killing ants.



Recipe for Killing Ants

Hi Susan! Try sprinkling baby powder outside of your house where they are coming in at. The ants won't cross it! (06/15/2005)

By allcountry1962

Recipe for Killing Ants

I have had a terrible time getting rid of ants. Someone advised me to try Terro Liquid ant baits. The stuff is available at most stores like Lowe's and Walmart. I found it at our local Super Walmart. You can also buy the liquid in a small bottle. It comes with little pieces of cardboard and you pour the liquid on the cardboard, and place it in locations where the ants seem most prolific.

The solution is made from Boric Acid (borax), water and sugar. I prefer the liquid baits because they are considerably less messy. This stuff is really sticky, but it has been extremely helpful. We had an exterminator come by to spray for the ants, and my husband told him what we were using and he said that they used the same stuff. (06/17/2005)

By Susan K. Beal

Recipe for Killing Ants

Mix powdered borax, detergent, and sugar. They will carry this back to the nest, and when they eat it it will kill them. It's not good for children and pets but it's better than poisons. Another tip which will take a few days, is to pour boiling water on them. (04/12/2007)

By Rose H Abshier

Recipe for Killing Ants

A couple of drops of dawn mixed with water in a spray bottle stops them dead in their tracks. (07/13/2009)


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