Almost three years ago, we had ants. You know…those industrious little 6-legged annoyances which gather crumbs wherever they find them. (As a very little girl, I used to lay on my tummy and watch them go in and out of sidewalk cracks with over-sized food bits and ant eggs. What fascination they provided!) But that day in our home, medium-sized, brownish-red ants came in from under the base board. There were droves of them all in a few hours, and we had to do a little dance to avoid stepping on them. Eek!
Maybe they were enticed by the sweet aroma of cinnamon and raisin scones baking in the oven, but more than likely they had been nesting in the mulch or under the house.
It is possible to create a homemade ant trap using boric acid powder and sugar.
These traps can be very effective against many types of insects (including cockroaches and silverfish), but are especially good with the small ants that are commonly found in kitchens. Making your own ant traps can save you money and is very frugal, as most of the store-bought insecticides are essentially the same thing.
For boric acid to be reliably lethal to ants and roaches, it has to be mixed with a something they will eat (a food bait). Caution: Boric acid is a slow-acting poison to ants. It is not toxic to humans UNLESS you ingest it in some quantity (see BeyondPesticides). It is considered to be slightly more toxic than table salt to humans.
Ants transfer food to each other, sharing your boric acid poison mixture. (source)
Get Rid Of Ants, Fast, The Non-Toxic Way
2 Tbsp. white sugar
1/4 tsp. boric acid
1 Tbsp. water
Thoroughly mix the white sugar, water, and boric acid in a small bowl. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture, let the excess drip off (but don’t squeeze it dry), and place it on wax paper or a plate right in front of the ants’ entry point(s). If you see a line of ants in your kitchen place the bait directly in the line.
The worker ants gather the boric acid when it’s mixed with your bait (in this case sugar) and carry it back to the colony and queen(s) to share, killing many ants at once.
Note: (2015) Do you see the boric acid I spread at the baseboard (below)? Well, I don’t have to do that anymore. I found out that the cotton ball saturated with the boric acid and sugar mixture are all you need. No more cleanup and concern for pets and little ones.
I have to admit, I was fascinated watching the ants come to feed.
Several ants went back to the colony presumably to recruit nest-mates….2 hours later this is what happened!
Beyond Pesticides is a good source for how to use boric acid during the construction phase to deter cockroaches, ants, and other insects for many years.
Whenever I see these fascinating busy workers, I remember my girlhood entertainment. There is so much to be learned by studying God’s creation.
The Holy Spirit-inspired writer of Proverbs 6 is accurate in saying “she prepares… and [she] gathers…” A typical ant colony includes one queen and hundreds or thousands of sterile female workers.
“Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.”
~Proverbs 6: 6-8
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