Homemade Non-Toxic Ant Poison {VIDEO}

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Even though I think of myself as a food blog, one of the most popular posts around here, especially in the summer, is about ants.

More specifically, how to kill ants. Naturally, of course. Winking smile I don’t have a lot of experience with fire ants or carpenter ants or big freaky looking ants (except for the one-inch long beast that waltzed across my floor one night, leaving me just hoping that whatever species it was didn’t fall into the "social insect" category).

Nope, my ants – and I have plenty of experience with them – are the little "sugar ants" that invade one’s kitchen, first one at a time so you don’t even give them a second thought, then in droves.

How to Make Non-Toxic Homemade Ant Poison

The other post has a plethora of methods – a homemade insecticidal spray that kills on contact for hand-to-hand combat, dozens of household items you can use to make lines the ants cannot cross (and whether they work or are laughable), and a homemade Terro-style ant poison, which is definitely my go-to and most effective method.

I’m so grateful for the knowledge of this quick and easy, non-toxic, frugal ant trap, and I thought I’d make a video to demonstrate, truly, how fast you can put it together.

The video is three minutes long, but half of it is me flapping my lips about ants – the actual time taken to make the ant poison? A mere 45 seconds:

If you can’t see the video above, click HERE to view it on YouTube.

I Didn’t Mean to Say…

In the video I say "natural" a couple times, but it would be more accurate to say "non-toxic" I’m sure.

Borax is generally recognized as safe and "natural" but sometimes I’m not so sure if it’s ideal – it’s in a lot of homemade dishwasher detergents that I tried and I felt iffy about having it down low by my crawling babies at that time, since it’s still not something I’d really want to them to put in their mouths (although much better than conventional detergents).

And corn syrup? Well. You know how I feel about that. The only bottle in the house is the one to kill the ants – not to kill the people, thankyouverymuch. We don’t cook with it.

Note: You could use anything sweet that ants would enjoy, including maple syrup or honey if you’re willing to spare a spoonful. A reader also shared that you can simply dissolve white sugar in water (hot water or boil it) and mix the borax in. Soak a cotton ball with it to “serve” your ant party guests.

The Simple Natural Ant Poison Recipe

If you don’t want to watch the 3-minute video, that’s cool. Here’s how it’s done:

Pour some corn syrup on an index card:

How to Make Non-Toxic Homemade Ant Poison

Add borax, enough to mix in thoroughly but not super-saturate it:

How to Make Non-Toxic Homemade Ant Poison

Stir it together…

…and then they come

How to Make Non-Toxic Homemade Ant Poison

…and come…

How to Make Non-Toxic Homemade Ant Poison

It’s a little freaky when they’re all having their ant party, but within a day, the ants will be gone!

They eat the corn syrup, the borax kills them, and if all goes well, they’ve taken quite a bit back to the colony and then they leave you and your kitchen alone. Smile

Pin it for When you Need It!

How to Make Non-Toxic Homemade Ant Poison

Other Green Solutions

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  • Patti Johnson
  • Cindy Dover
  • Susanne Aufderheide

Congrats gals! For the rest of you, remember to get 15% off anything in the Redmond store using the code Kitchenstew (case sensitive) until March 1st 2015.


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15 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    I have an easier way! I haven’t had an ant problem in 17 years. All you do is get a piece of paper and lay the paper across the line of ants and smash as many as you can by running you hand across the paper. Move the paper along the line of ants smashing them. Leave the dead and alive ones there and the next day they will all be gone! It is amazing! The ones left alive pick up their dead buddies and don’t come back.

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. Karen Laurvick says

    Curious..month the article and the first commeny.
    my sister has had a terrible ant infestation and finally called in an exterminator….twice.
    she was told that when you kill ants, it only brings more in.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    There’s a lot of discussion about that on my original post (http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/06/30/how-to-naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-house/) and some say exactly what you said, while others have killed AND LEFT the bodies, this seems to be key, and that’s actually part of the solution. ??? The poison kills them back in their colony, so that might be different from killing them on your counter. ?

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. Cam says

    Thank you, thank you for this! I had a couple of ants in the kitchen before our vacation, but when we came back they were everywhere. I’ve been cutting food on top of a cutting board on top of a cooling rack to make sure they aren’t crawling into the food. I definitely will try this, but first have to purchase corn syrup. Haven’t done that in years – ha!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Cam – you could use anything that would attract the ants – honey, syrup, whatever you actually do have if you don’t mind sparing a teaspoon of it! ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  4. Theresa says

    I had heard of using borax before but thought it was poisonous for children. Online info is confusing. Can you tell me what you know about that?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Arg, I went to look up the borax question in one of my dishwasher posts, and I didn’t summarize it, just said I wasn’t comfortable having it down low with my toddler and linked to another post – which is now gone. Shoot! That means I don’t know much at ALL. But I put it on my post ideas list to look into for sure! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Theresa Reply:

    If you can overlook the revealing picture at the top, I found this article to be very helpful :)


    [Reply to this comment]

  5. says

    Hi, Katie!

    I am THRILLED to be one of the winners of the Redmond Clay Giveaway! YAY! 1st time winner! So excited! (I’ve already sent Katy my info.)

    Thanks for all your hard work with your blog and for offering so much great, free information and wonderful giveaways!

    Very warmest regards,

    Patti :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    It’s even more fun when you get the box in the mail, Patti, congrats and enjoy!! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Patti Johnson Reply:

    lol :) I bet it IS! Can’t wait! :)

    Thanks! :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  6. Anna says

    I’ve also taken sidewalk chalk and drawn a line around window openings to keep ants from coming inside the house. They must not like the texture of the chalk because they don’t cross that line. To experiment outside, I’ve drawn a circle on a brick wall and the ants walk around it to avoid it!

    [Reply to this comment]

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