DIY Ant Traps

So as the spring weather has started rolling in, so have the ants. Big, fat, black ones that are invading my kitchen. These guys are so huge, that when attempting to kill them, a shoe merely bounces off their body as they scurry away to the cracks and crevices around my cabinets. Ew. I hate ants. I really hate ants.

While doing some research online, I uncovered some interesting homemade recipes that claim they will get rid of your ant problem once and for all. Since I had all of the ingredients at home, I decided to try. The recipe I chose is relatively pet safe (a huge bonus, as I have birds and cats), is made of all natural ingredients, and is supposed to make not only the ants in my kitchen die, but the colony as well.

You will need:

  • two or more containers with lids
  • sugar
  • borax
  • peanut butter (optional)
  • a drill

Step 1) Drill 10 holes around the bottom part of the container. I drilled mine maybe less then a half inch above the bottom of the container. This way, no ingredients spill out where my animals can get to them, but the ants can readily climb into the container.

Step 2) Mix up two cups sugar and one cup borax. Make sure to break the borax up (it tends to clump) and mix well. These measurements are only rough estimates. Most recipes called for a three to one ratio, but I opted to use peanut butter as my other third.

Step 3) Melt a tablespoon of peanut butter so that it is nearly liquid. This makes it easier to stir into the borax and sugar mix.

Step 4) Add borax/sugar mix and peanut butter together. You will need to add a small amount of water to get the ingredients so that they can be mixed together. Be sure and not use too much water; you will need the ingredients to solidify, so you don’t have to worry about them spilling from the holes of the container.

Step 5) Divide your mixture into however many containers you have. For this experiment, I used only two containers. If this seems to be working, I will add a third. Screw (or place) the lids tightly onto the containers, and place anywhere in the house that you suspect the ants are coming in. I have one placed on my counter, and another on the floor under the cabinets.

The theory behind these traps is that the ants are attracted by the sweetness of the sugar and peanut butter. They enter the container, eat the mixture, and consume the borax, which kills them. If they carry any of the mixture back to their colony, the queen will eat it and die once it has been consumed.

I have seen this recipe using simply sugar and borax, but I thought peanut butter would be a nice way to add a little extra incentive to get these awful creatures out of my kitchen for good.

Hints:

- Miracle Whip containers work well. If you don’t have containers readily available, find your local Freecycle group and ask for some. There are always Freecyclers that save their containers and are ready to pass them along.

- You can opt not to use peanut butter. Ingredients like maple syrup, honey, or other sticky sweets would also work well.

- This is an eco friendly recipe, which means it is safe for the environment, and has no harsh additives or chemicals.

- Even though it is eco friendly, Borax, if ingested, can be harmful to your cat or dog. If your animals come in contact with the mixture, be sure to call your veterinarian. While borax is a lot safer then other household chemicals and cleaners, like any other ant trap, it can pose a danger to your animals.

The mixture placed in the previously drilled containers

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Emily March 27, 2012 Blog, DIY, Eco-Friendly, Non-bird, Parrot Products