While ants aren't dangerous or even really a health hazard, they can be annoying and no one wants a kitchen or bathroom full of ants. There are many types, but the most typical house guest is the troublesome sugar ant. If you've ever had an ant problem before, you know sprays never take care of the problem completely. This is because it only kills the scouts and workers, not the rest of the ant colony back at the nest. Using boric acid is a cheap and easy way to kill those ants for good.
Prepare the Area
The first step to resolving your ant problem is to clean up.This means getting rid of any crumbs that might have got into the nooks and crannies of your kitchen and might be providing meals for ants. Do a deep cleaning by pulling out appliances, wiping down the insides of cupboards (especially those containing food) and making sure all counters and surfaces are clean, too. Once you've got a spic-and-span house, use caulk to seal up any cracks and holes where the ants have been getting in. Look around the pipe fixtures under the sink and near windows and doors.
There are two things to keep in mind when mixing and placing your boric acid bait: ratio and location. Most important is that boric acid is poisonous to household pets, so you must keep any bait you place out of their reach. Second is where ants are coming in and centring on. For tidiness, you should place your homemade ant bait on small strips of waxed paper, tin foil or inside small segments of straw. This way when you change them every few days, you won't need to wipe up sticky residue. Place your ant bait anywhere that you see ants that pets can't access and you can change it frequently.
Mixing the Bait
There are links to several ant bait recipes in the Resources section, but the basic mix is some kind of sugary substance and boric acid. Jelly and syrup work great for ant bait although jelly has a bit more substance and is probably easier to work with. If the ants aren't responding as well as they should, you need to adjust your ratio. It doesn't take a lot of boric acid to kill the ants, and if you add too much, they either won't eat it or won't bring it back to the colony, and you'll never get rid of your ants. Some ants (depending on their life cycle) prefer fat over sugar. In this case, you can add some vegetable oil to the recipe or use something like peanut butter. To start, try about 1/8 of a teaspoon of boric acid per tablespoon of jelly (or whatever you decide to use).
Change your bait stations every two to four days to keep it fresh, occasionally mixing up the materials you use. It may take a couple of weeks to completely kill all of the colonies in and near your home, but you should see an immediate reduction in the number of ants after only a few days. With consistency and perseverance, you can get rid of your ants permanently for only pennies compared to commercial ant bait.