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DIY Borax Ant Killer (No More Ants!)

Most of us will have to deal with those pesky little ants that appear throughout the year at some point. But don’t go reaching for those poisons to get rid of them! This DIY Borax ant killer recipe works like a charm and will keep you, your children, and your pets safe!

Ants crawling on a spoon of sugar.

Unfortunately, living on a homestead often means we have to deal with pests such as flies, spiders, and even ants. But that doesn’t mean we have to live with them! There are some easy DIY options to get rid of unwanted pests that will both work and keep your family and pets safe.

For us, anytime in a busy kitchen (or any kitchen) can mean an invasion of ants. A clean kitchen can go a long way towards fewer ants. Using cream of tartar by sprinkling it in areas that are prone to ants helps too. They won’t like the smell and will stay away.

But sometimes, no matter what you do, the ants show up. Have you ever tried to can raspberry jam in a kitchen being colonized by ants? What a frustrating mess!

But who wants to set out poison? I don’t even like buying the stuff and with all of the animals and children around our place. I won’t even consider setting any out.

Instead, make your own non-toxic borax ant killer with this simple, 2 ingredient recipe. It is amazingly effective and you won’t have to worry about the pets!

The Best Homemade Ant Killer

There are many ant killers on the market today, and some work very well. However, in our home, we don’t want to use anything that could potentially cause harm to our children or to our animals if they happened to get into it.

This is why we choose to make a non-toxic ant killer using borax and other common kitchen ingredients.

Ingredients Needed

For our homemade borax ant killer you only need two simple ingredients:

  • Borax – You can get a box at your local grocery store, or buy from Amazon here.
  • Honey – no need to use your good raw honey here, a cheap bottle of honey will do!
  • Index Card or Cardstock


Mix together approximately 1/4 cup honey with about 2 Tablespoons of borax. Stir to combine. You want to create a thick paste, so add more borax or honey as needed.

Take about a teaspoon of the mixture and place it onto an index card or a piece of cardstock. Set the card out where you typically see ants.

Depending on how bad the ants are in your home, you may need to keep replacing the cards, as needed, until the ants are no longer showing up. I like to keep the cards out for a few days after, just in case there are a few stragglers.

A line of ants crawling on the floor carrying away a piece of food.

What Type of Ants Does Borax Kill?

Borax is toxic to all ants, so it’s really best to first determine what the ants are after. Are they after food? Water? Something sweet, or more fatty substances such as meat?

Once you determine what the ants are after you’ll have a better chance of killing them. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be mixed with many different substances. Honey is what we’ve had the most success with, but that’s just because the ants we get typically show up in the summer and are frequently going after sweeter objects in our home (we especially notice this with our compost bucket if it doesn’t get taken out daily).

A pile of kitchen waste with ants crawling on it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Borax Ant Killer

What do You Mix Borax With to Kill Ants?

We like to mix borax with honey. In our house, it seems that the ants are particularly drawn to the sweetness of honey, and we also have plenty on hand.

I’ve also read of some people using regular cane sugar or even powdered sugar. You can experiment with different combinations to see what works most effectively for your particular ant infestation.

How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Ants With Borax?

Ants should die within 24-48 hours, and not just the ant that took the borax, but those that the ant shares their food with will also die!

That’s the thing about ants that make them a bit easier to get rid of, they share the food they find with the colony!

Does Borax Kill Ants Immediately?

No, borax does not kill ants immediately, and this is actually beneficial! Because borax takes some time to kill the ants, it allows them to take the borax back to the colony and share it with the others before it takes effect.

This also keeps you from having to clean up tiny ant carcasses all over the house! It’s truly a win-win!

Will Ants Eat Plain Borax?

No, ants won’t eat plain borax unless it’s mixed with a substance they’re interested in. So if you notice something in particular that they’re going after in your kitchen (say watermelon rinds), taking some crushed up watermelon and mixing it with borax might be a good option.

For us, the ants that show up in our house are often after something sweet, such as kombucha, honey, or other fruit they may find in our compost bucket.

More DIY Recipes and Homestead Tips

Ants crawling on a spoon of sugar.

DIY Borax Ant Killer

Most of us will have to deal with those pesky little ants that appear throughout the year at some point. But don't go reaching for those poisons to get rid of them! This DIY Borax ant killer recipe works like a charm and will keep you, your children, and your pets safe!
3.75 from 288 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Author: Carolyn Thomas


  • 2 Tablespoons Borax
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 piece cardstock or more if using in multiple places


  • Mix the honey and borax in a small dish (you may need to gently heat honey).
  • Add more honey or borax to create a thick paste.


  • Even though this is non-toxic, it’s best to keep it out of reach of pets and children. 
  • Mix up a little or multiply this recipe for larger amounts. 
  • For the safety of our outdoor animal friends, it’s not advised to use this in an area that’s open to birds, bees, or other friendly pollinators! 
  • Can substitute sugar or powdered sugar for honey. 
  • Can experiment mixing borax with other food items that ants may be going after. Consider liquefying the food in a blender before mixing with borax.
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.
A man and wife smiling.

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