Can Borax Kill Ants?

Gardeners are always looking for an effective way to get rid of ants because they can be such a nuisance. There are multiple ways to kill ants including using items from your kitchen cupboard. So can borax kill ants effectively?

Yes, borax, also known as sodium borate, can kill ants and is an effective way of doing so. 

Borax is a core ingredient in commercially available ant control products. You can either purchase these products, or you can use borax directly.

You can also implement various DIY methods that involve borax which you can use to kill ants. Borax is great because it serves more than one purpose. Apart from killing ants, you can use borax to treat fungus and kill weeds which are a recurring garden problem. 

How to Use Borax to Kill Ants

While borax is lethal for ants, you cannot use it in its true, neat form. Were you to sprinkle borax powder, chances are the ants will not ingest it because they do not like borax powder. They’ll walk on past it and you’ll assume borax killing ants is yet another gardening myth.

Instead, the best and most effective way to use borax is to mix it with other liquids or foods that will attract ants – effectively spiking their food with poison. 

You can simply sprinkle some borax powder on foods that ants love. The food placement is important because it’s of no use using borax if the ants cannot reach it.

Track and follow the ant trail in your garden and place the food with borax there. Soon, you will find dead ants that have consumed the food. You can clean the mess after a few hours.

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How Long Does It Take for Borax to Kill Ants?

When using borax to kill ants, do not expect immediate results; instead, give it time. Ants ingest borax along with the food, and it takes some time for it to reach their digestive system and take effect.

After ingesting borax, it takes 24 to 48 hours for an ant to die. 

Will Borax Kill the Queen Ant?

Killing ants you see around you seems like an easier task than killing the queen ant. But, do you need to kill the queen ant to eradicate the problem entirely? The answer is yes.

The queen ant is the one that gives birth continuously, and hence, it is why the colony expands. Therefore, you cannot truly get rid of ants unless you kill the queen and stop it from reproducing. 

Unfortunately, it is not easy to find the queen ant because she is in her nest and protected by hundreds of ants. However, you can learn how to identify the queen ant, so you know what to do if you ever spot her.

The queen ant is larger than the rest of the working ants. The queen ant will also sometimes have wings. 

It is best to look for the ant nest so you can use borax at the source. To ensure that you find the nest, do not mess with the ant trail but instead follow it.

In gardens, ants like to build nests in sheds or in the soil. So if you notice a mound in your lawn, it is because there is an ant nest there. 

Once you have found the ant nest, you know where to use borax. Mix the borax powder with any sugar substance. For example, you can mix borax with honey or maple syrup. You can use one part borax and three parts syrup.

It is better to heat the syrup slightly so mixing with borax is easier. The liquid mixture will be a bait for the adult ants because they have trouble ingesting solid food. 

For the larva, you can mix powdered sugar with borax powder. It is important to stick to two kinds of bait instead of one. While adult ants will die, the larva gets left behind.

It is especially important to tackle the larva because they turn solid foods into liquids for the queen. You’ll then have a better chance at killing the ant queen. 

You can place these mixtures along the ant trails you find leading to the ant nests. If you find more than one trail, you should place the bait along each of the trails.

It is best to avoid using borax directly on soil and plants as it can be harmful. Instead, use a paper plate or a container to hold the borax mix. Moreover, if you have any pets, look out for them. If the pets ingest the mixture, it can cause serious problems for them. 


While ants may not seem like a big problem to some people, they can become a nuisance because they develop quickly. Having a big colony of ants in your garden means them consistently entering your home and getting into food.

It is best to get rid of ants ASAP. One way to get rid of ants and kill them is to use borax powder, also known as sodium borate. Another great thing about borax powder is that it also acts against fungus and can kill weeds. 

Many people make the mistake of using borax powder as it is. However, this is a problem because ants will not ingest the powder as they do not like it. Therefore, you must create a bait using solid or liquid foods that ants like.

For example, you can use maple syrup and powdered sugar. Then, you can follow the trail and find the ant nest, which is where the ant queen resides. You can then place the mixture near the trails of ants you find, and it will take effect in 24 to 48 hours. 

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