The Natural Way to Get Rid of Ants with 2 Ingredients

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There is nothing worse than walking into a room and realizing your home has been invaded by unwelcome guests. While they look innocent enough, their home is outside and it should stay that way. After dealing with ants in North Carolina, Colorado, and now Florida here is my tried and true natural way to get rid of ants after everything else failed.

Natural Way to Kill Ants
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Just the word ant, makes me cringe.

I was told once that it is actually a compliment to have ants in your house. It means you are eating real food because ants don't like processed foods. Hmmm. So, thank you, ants, but please get out of my house.

Now every time my children an ant, they scream for me to kill it. The two year old now calls every single things that moves an ant and screams while running away. They may or may not have learned this behavior from me. Granted I don't scream like a little girl when I see an ant. I break out the cleaner and start spraying them and wiping them away.

I've often thought about getting my kids one of those ant homes so they can watch the ants go about their daily life, but I can't. I just know that they would escape and crawl around all over my house. I think I'll stick with the butterfly house. Caterpillars I can do.

I needed a natural way to get rid of ants. We have 4 children and a dog. I couldn't risk spraying chemicals that the kids could touch or the dog could lick up. So I tried everything natural I could think of. I asked in my “natural” groups. I searched on the internet. Everyone had something that worked for them. I tried them all. Apparently, we have super stubborn ants.

I found where the ants were coming up through a hole in the flooring, through a crack near a window, and by the back door. I put diatomaceous earth over the holes. That worked for about two days. The ants actually moved the tiny particles of diatomaceous earth out of the holes. I have no idea where they took them, but I watched little white specks walking across our floor. Gross!

The Natural Way to Get Rid of Ants

Someone said they used peppermint essential oil and it worked for them. I took my bottle of peppermint oil and sprinkled drops in front of our back door. I watched as the little ants scurried from the line, and completely went around it. After about 15 minutes, they started going through the oil line.

Then I tried cinnamon. The “tried and true method”. Nope. These crazy little ants went right over the cinnamon mound. Aaaahhhh! I was at my wit's end. One day, I even found hundreds of any inside my dishwasher. It was disgusting. What did I do? I ran the dishwasher of course. Twice.

I was ready to call the bug guys. I couldn't take it anymore. I felt gross. I tried cleaning up all the crumbs and wouldn't leave food on the counter. But with 4 kids and a dog, things can get messy. Try as I might, I would always miss something.

I found a recipe where they used sugar and borax, mixing it on the stove. That sounded like a great idea! But I didn't really want to put borax in the pans I fix food in. I'm sure it would be fine, I just didn't want to clean up the mess. We just happened to have a box of borax that my mom bought for something. So I went to the pantry to see what I could mix the borax in that ants might like.

Lo, and behold I found a bottle of corn syrup in the very back corner. I had bought it forever go to make pecan pie but I never used it. You could also use honey, but this was an experiment. I didn't want to waste good honey. Corn syrup is bad for you anyway.

I grabbed a plastic cup and spoon that I could throw away and mixed equal parts of borax and corn syrup together. Then I found things to put the sticky mixture on that the ants could access easily. I used random pieces of cardboard but you could use a jar lid or index cards. I placed the cardboard pieces around areas I had seen the ants. I also made sure to do this at night so that the kids and dog couldn't get to them.

The next morning, I was completely grossed out. There were ants covering the mixture. I kept reminding myself that this was a good thing. They were taking the borax mixture back to their house.

Throughout the day, I noticed that the number of ants I was seeing was dropping significantly. I sprayed everything down with vinegar water to remove any ant trails they had left behind.

I am happy to report that the majority of the ants are gone. YAY!! I am still seeing one or two around, but nothing compared to the army I was seeing everywhere.

How to Get Rid of Ants | Borax For Ants Recipe

It's SO easy!

All you need for this borax for ants recipe to get rid of ants is:

  • borax
  • corn syrup or honey
  • a container and plastic spoon you can throw away
  • a jar lid or index cards
how to get rid of ants borax recipe

What natural ways have you found work to combat ant armies?

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  1. I sprinkle corn meal generously on the ant mound. The ants take the meal in to feed the colony. Once the ants ingest the corn meal, it swells up and, well, no more ants. This method takes a couple of days on a big mound. But it works well.

    1. That’s a great idea, Lisa!! It’s child and pet friendly! I’ll definitely try that next time I see some too. Thanks!!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. I will try it tonight. I think we have stubborn ants too. I tried several of the other methods you did and just like your experience they worked for about 15 minutes before the ants just went on about their business. You’ve given me hope that we might get rid of the little buggers!

    1. Yes! It was driving me crazy!! Borax mixed with corn syrup was my last ditch effort before using a nasty chemical. I was just so over ants in my house!! It was a little unnerving to see all the ants crowding around the mixture the next day, but it worked!! Good luck!

  3. We had ants coming in from the dining room window and the kitchen door. I tried everything you said (peppermint oil, orange peel vinegar water, cornmeal; didn’t try the borax, though)! It seemed like the natural “fixes” worked for a time, then wore off. Plain old white vinegar sprayed all over where I’d seen the ants seemed to do the trick for us. And, of course, sweeping the floors, wiping the counters, and keeping food put away. I still see random ants, but quickly squish them and spray vinegar where ever they were. One night, after not seeing a lot of ants for a while, there were a bunch of them on the stove top. I immediately sprayed the lot of them with vinegar, since there were more than I wanted to squish. It was like “instant death” for the ants that got hit directly with the vinegar. Might sound bad, but I was so happy to see that! =) Anyway, the ants aren’t so much of a problem now. But, the gnats have started to move in. =P If it isn’t one thing, it’s ten others! I think you’re right, though: I don’t think we’d have a problem with bugs so much if we didn’t eat real food! 😉

    1. Ha! I completely know that feeling, Sarah. If they were outside in their ant hill, that would be one thing. Instead, they are all over my kitchen, and that’s not okay. LOL. I have seen several gnats the last couple of days. I don’t know where they are coming from. Real food = Real bugs. Haha!

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