Homemade ant killer: peanut butter and borax

Written by kay wagers
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Homemade ant killer: peanut butter and borax
Combined, peanut butter and borax create a deadly ant bait. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Different types of ants like different foods. Some prefer sugary treats like jelly; others will head directly for bacon grease. No matter what they eat, you do not want them in your kitchen. To get rid of ants that have decided to make a move on your pantry, create a homemade ant killer using peanut butter and borax.

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Borax is a natural mineral found in soil. It contains boron, sodium and oxygen and comes in a soft powder form. It acts as stomach poison when ingested by insects. It destroys their digestive systems, stopping them from being able to digest food, leading to death by starvation. Borax kills most insects, including house pests like termites, cockroaches and ants. Borax does not attract ants on its own, so in order to kill them you need to mix the borax with some sort of bait, like peanut butter.


To kill ants, combine 2 tsp of borax with 1/4 cup of peanut butter. Stir the mixture until the borax is thoroughly dissolved and has disappeared into the peanut butter. Because peanut butter is both sweet and greasy, it attracts small black sugar ants as well as the other, larger ants that are common problems in homes. Because borax can cause skin irritation, wear gloves while working with it and take care to label the mixture as ant poison so no one in your household eats it.


Put your homemade peanut butter and borax ant killer inside a few small bottles. Poke holes in the bottles' caps, large enough for ants to crawl through, then place the bottles in areas where you have seen ants. Behind the refrigerator and under the sink are good areas to try to trap ants. Be sure to lay the bottles on their sides. This makes it more likely the ants will crawl inside. Ants will take the borax-laden peanut butter back to their nest, where they will share it with others. This kills them and the other ants and prevents them from returning to your home.


Borax is a natural insecticide with low toxicity for humans and pets. This can make it preferable for use inside the home over harsh chemical pesticides. Although it will not kill a human, dog or cat, borax can still make them ill if ingested. It can cause symptoms of gastric upset, like diarrhoea or vomiting. Placing the ant killer inside bottles or jars helps reduce the risk that a curious child will find it and get into it.

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