North America is the habitat of almost 1000 varieties of ant species. Queen ants of the colonies are the most precious members. In some species, queens live for over a decade. According to the Book of Insect Records of the University of Florida, worker ants live about 7-8 years, but queens can stay alive up to 30 years in laboratory conditions.
You can’t destroy an ant colony entirely until you make your way to the queen. Calling pest control for a single trail of ants in your kitchen may take up a lot of time and energy. To inhibit the possibility of a major ant infestation in the future, you can prepare inexpensive DIY ant baits at home. The common ingredient for all these ant killer recipes is boric acid.
Boric acid works like magic to control regular ants in your home. When used in low concentration, it is nearly harmless to humans and pets. Still, to be on the safe side, follow the instructions as stated on the packaging.
Are you wondering, ‘where can I find boric acid?’ Visit any of your local grocery stores or hardware stores today. Boric acid powder or gel is readily available in the household cleaning section.
Does it work with all types of ants?
Sure we speak for everyone when we say ants are the most unwelcome guests in our households. According to the National Pest Management Association’s study titled ‘Exploring America’s #1 Nuisance Pest’ the most commonly found types are the carpenter ants, odorous house ants, and pavement ants.
Carpenter ants are the most problematic species because they build their nests both indoors and outdoors. Hence, it can be tricky to locate. Apart from these three, Argentine ants, Pharaoh ants, and red imported fire ants are among our regular visitors.
Now that you know what you are dealing with, you should also know that boric acid is not 100% effective in killing all ants species. You can use boric acid for the smaller ones, usually referred to as the sugar ants. They are brown, black, or reddish-black in color. But it’s difficult to control a club of harvester ants or fire ants with boric acid.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, if the concentration of boric acid is too high in the bait recipe, it kills the worker ants on the way to the nest or repels them. The proper concentration of boric acid in a sugar-water solution should not be more than 1% to fade away a fire ant colony over time.
How to use boric acid on ants?
This is how boric acid works on ants:
- Either they will eat the bait and ingest the poison in their system.
- Or walk over a treated area with boric acid powder. Later this powder is ingested during preening.
The boric acid messes with ants’ digestive systems and dries out their exoskeleton. In a colony, worker ants carry food crumbs to the nest to share with the rest of the members and the queen. The tricky part about making ant baits is to keep the workers alive until they pass the poisonous food to the larger population. The whole process can test your patience, but it’s highly effective.
Jelly, sugar, peanut butter, honey are often used as bait material to lure the ants.
You can try this sugar water recipe at home:
Mix eight teaspoons of sugar and one teaspoon boric acid in a bowl. Pour one cup of warm water into the mixture and continuously keep stirring to avoid lumps. Once everything is dissolved, shift the bait into a small jar with holes in the lid or a bottle cap. Place this where you have noticed ants activities. Store the excess material in an airtight jar for refills and clearly label it.
For fire ants
Journal of Economic Entomology published a research article that states high concentrations (5%) of boric acid baits have a lower consumption rate among the red imported fire ants. But four different baits with a boric acid concentration of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1.0% helped reduce a colony of fire ants in 6 weeks by 90%.
You can try this recipe to treat fire ants specifically:
Mix ⅛ teaspoon of boric acid with 8-9 teaspoons of bait material. Put the mixture in a jar lid and place it near the nest you have spotted. Now, wait for around eight weeks. You will see a drop in the number of worker ants gradually.
How to use boric acid on ants?
- Locate the entry points, ants trails, and the scattered ants roaming around your house.
- The sprinkling of boric acid on ant trails is not an option. The poison has to be ingested into their bodies. Try to trick them into eating the bait.
- If you are using the powder, apply a thin layer of dust in a wide area because the ants will avoid walking over a clump of dust.
- Make sure the area remains dry. If it gets wet, the pesticide will lose its potency.
- Place the liquid baits right on the ants’ route so that they definitely bump into it.
- You will have to change the liquid frequently every hour or day, as soon as it is finished. Fresh baits will attract the ants even more.
- Finally, don’t forget to clear up all the baits once the process is done. It’s better to dispose of them to a household hazardous waste collector.
Hopefully, we answer your question about boric acid and ants. We assure you will see some positive results using the boric acid ant killer recipe we shared. It would help if you also practiced some additional exclusion measures to prevent the ants from invading your home in winter. Seal any cracks or crevices you notice on the walls or apply the boric acid gel on those portions.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at Bug Guys Pest Control for any pest-related assistance. We provide professional ant control services to treat ant colonies in and out of the property and eliminate them from your Coachella Valley home. You can fill up a simple form and request a free pest control estimate today!