What is the BORIC ACID formula for ANTS?

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The Argentine ants are sending scouts into the house again.. it must be autumn in central California. We read of a boric acid formula that supposedly "kills the queen(s)" and is non-toxic to the environment.. can't find the article. Has anyone used this method? What formula do you use? Thanks!

-- Ellen and David (gardenfarm@earthlink.net), November 02, 2001


Hi.. I've heard of carpenter ants, sugar ants and fire ants..but I've never heard of Argentinian ants. Nevertheless, in my old house I had problems with carpenters. While I was tearing out and rebuilding, the extent of their damage became quite obvious. First thing I did was clear all the brush and rotted wood from the area.

I actually tracked down two nests. One in an ancient rotted wood pile, the other in a dead tree stump. I was so determined, I dug them out, found the queen and had ghastly queenicide rituals.

I then powdered the nests with a lot of boric acid. I also did a ring of boric acid around the foundation and in other places where they seemed to go.

The boric acid I used was from the dollar store. Don't buy pharmaceutical grade boric acid. $$!. Look in a discount or hardware store for 'Roach Prufe' or some similar brand. It's something like 90% boric acid and 10% inert ingredients.

Dust it liberally around your foundation and other areas that the critters might be. Reapply after rains. If you live in colder climates and see ants inside during the cold weather, they might be nesting inside too. If so..do a thorough check and dust inside as well.

-- pc (pcha@ludl.tds.net), November 02, 2001.

never throw away .these old recipes: get a small box of boric acid from your local pharmacy it'l last a long long time. take four (4),.teaspoonsfule of the boric acid powder and place into a small saucepan, add three cups plain water and one cup of granulated sugar. bring this mixture to a boil stirring to disolve as it heats. place several small shallow containers of the cooled so.lution where the ants are traveling. snap caps from gallon containers of milk work real well. bottle caps work well,also. the ants find the sugary stuff eat it all up and cary it back to the nest. the boric acid forms crystals in their stomachs and they well they explode... end of story lol bob m. p.s. works for me every time......

-- bob mccaffrey (bobmccaffrey1@netscape.net), November 02, 2001.

The above should work - I've seen honey or jam (jelly) with the boracic acid (same thing?) mixed in, but straight sugar syrup ought to work, and is less likely to attract and poison others. Please note - it IS poisonous, and it could poison pets or children if you don't put it out of the way.

Argentine ants - we have those (MORE d____ed ferals) in Australia too. My impression is that they didn't last in the USA because the fire ants killed them off - fill roughly the same ecologic niche. NOW we have just got fire ants - off some shipping container from the USA. Established, and they're trying to wipe them out. Some hope!

-- Don Armstrong (from Australia) (darmst@yahoo.com.au), November 02, 2001.

This is so funny, I just got some boric acid yesterday. It also good to get rid of fleas, cockroaches, and silverfish. My dog has picked up some fleas and we don't want to let the house get infested, so I picked up some to use in the house on the carpets and rugs, her bedding and the furniture. Just use care when handling the boric acid as it can irritate skin. Wash hand thoroughly after handling. Good luck. :-D

-- Kim in Indiana (kwcountrygirl@aol.com), November 03, 2001.

Thanks for all the useful information. We hope those danged little Argentine ants are shivering in their boots.. we actually miss the native sweet-loving ants.. all we had to do was keep sweets contained and they minded their own business.. the Argentines are omnivours, multi-queening, and great aphid farmers AND they are so tiny you don't see them until they're swarming up your arm. Luckily they don't bite. This area of CA.. the Central Coast, has so far (knock knock on wood) escaped fire ant invasion.. both of us have warm climate childhood memories of fire ant attacks. Thanks again!

-- Ellen and David (gardenfarm@earthlink.net), November 03, 2001.

Somewhere I had read if you put dried mustard around their nests they are contained. The mustard supposedly burns them? dunno

-- Lynnda (venus@zeelink.net), November 03, 2001.

Never heard of that! Mustard is pretty intense stuff and I wouldn't want it sticking to my legs. I've noticed that ants won't cross a line of cinnamon powder but a kitchen smeared with cinnamon looks pretty funky after a while.. smells good though. I sprinkle cheap "dollar store" cinnamon around seedlings and it keeps the earwigs and snails off for a while.. usually 2 or 3 days per application. With these ants though.. I'm not interested in repelling them.. I want to KILL them.. I can't believe I want my native ants back, but I do. The one good thing about the Argentine ants in flower pots is that the flowers thrive from the soil aeration and all the ant manure!

-- Ellen (gardenfarm@earthlink.net), November 03, 2001.

I use borax and powdered sugar in equal amounts as traps or I sprinkle the ants with borax to take back to the nest.

-- Alison in N.S. (aproteau@istar.ca), November 03, 2001.

Straight boric acid works on cockroaches, so it should work on ants. A friend had sprinkled the boric acid ~ long before she discovered the safer food grade Diatomaceous Earth ~ around her house. Dead roaches were everywhere!

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), November 03, 2001.

We are using Bob McCaffrey's sugar-water-boric acid formula.. put it in saved vanilla bottles and poked a hole in the cap.. IT'S WORKING! A 2" wide band of ants has dwindled to a few forlorn ants. THANKS everyone! Your suggestions have saved the day!

-- Ellen (gardenfarm@earthlink.net), November 08, 2001.

We've been swarmed on by Argentines this fall. After 3 exterminator visits, they are still finding their way in, seemingly from under the house and in the walls.

Im now using Bob McCaffrey's mixture and they suck it down by the capful. too early to tell if it'll wipe them out.

Im also trying a little twist. soaking saltine crackers in the solution and then putting them near and in the caps of liquid. My thinking is, maybe they will take more of it to the nest carrying the strips of cracker. They sure do love the variation, we'll see if it has any effect on the colony.

-- jack Manning (jack@eastlink.com), December 18, 2001.

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