Homemade Ant Killers

When you provide a tempting treat that is actually poison (known as ant bait), you want to make sure it’s not too strong that it will kill the ant before it gets back to the colony (sometimes they are gone for days), and that it’s not too weak that it’s ineffective. You want poisoned food brought back to the nest for the rest of the colony to ingest.

The type of food they look for is either sugar or protein, it depends on what the needs of the colony are at the time. This is why a “tried and true” ant killer recipe that came highly recommended doesn’t work for you, the bait holds no interest for the particular critters in your home.

Tip: First determine if the ants in your house are after sugar or protein. Leave a sample of each bait out and see which ones they go for. Once you’ve determined what they’re hungry for, set out a few baits with their choice.

Homemade Ant Bait Recipes


2 TBS Boric Acid* (Borax)
Jam (or Jelly, Honey, Maple Syrup)

    Mix the boric acid with the jam or jelly to make a paste. Slather it on a piece of paper, a plate or in a covered container with holes. You may have to adjust amount of Boric Acid if the ants seem to eat up the bait like crazy, but are getting fatter from it instead of dying.


2 cups Sugar
1 cup Water
2 TBS Boric Acid* (Borax)

    Mix and place in small saucers around the home.


2 TBS Boric Acid* (Borax)
Peanut Butter or Bacon Grease

    Mix and set out in mounds on pieces of paper or plates.


1 cup Confectioners Sugar
2 TBS Boric Acid* (Borax)

    Leave this in little mounds or in covered containers with holes.

Sugar Bait

2 TBS Molasses
1 TBS Yeast
1 TBS Sugar

    Mix and place mounds on paper, plates or in covered containers with holes.

Important: When baiting the ants to bring poison back to the nest, resist the temptation to kill them when you see them. You want them to live and take big juicy pieces of poisoned bait back to the nest for the rest of the colony to feast on.

Baiting Tips:

Boric Acid* can be harmful if swallowed. If you have kids or pets in the home, set the bait in covered plastic containers with a few holes poked in the sides. You could also use glass jars sealed with lids–just poke holes in the top lid. For strong attraction, smear a bit of non-poisoned bait on top of the lid so the ants find it easily.

For best results lay out a fresh batch daily.

Lay the bait in areas where you see regular ant activity and near their points of entry if you know them..Don’t be diligent washing away the ant trails, you want them to find the bait spots easily again and again. All the worker ants in the colony can follow each others trails, so even if you killed off the first foragers, their partners will follow the trail they left.

You may find that a sugar bait will be popular for a few days, then a protein one is needed as the ants switch to protein foods. Change your method as needed.

If you’ve set out both types (sugar and protein) yet the ants are attracted to neither, reduce the amount of boric acid* used until they starting feasting on the bait.

Did You Know: If a colony senses something is up when its members start dying and begins to feel stressed, the Queen Ant will likely give orders for the colony to split up into a few smaller colonies, trying to preserve as many members as she can. This is why it may take several days of laying out fresh bait regularly–you’re trying to get enough poison into all the colonies to wipe out the whole lot.

 * Boric acid,
Boric acid, also called hydrogen borate or boracic acid or orthoboric acid or acidum boricum, having chemical formula H3BO3 , is a weak acid of boron often used as an antiseptic, insecticide, flame retardant, as a neutron absorber, and as a precursor of other chemical compounds. It exists in the form of colorless crystals or a white powder and dissolves in water. Sometimes written B(OH)3. When occurring as a mineral, it is called sassolite. - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia