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DIY Ant Trap

Updated on May 26, 2015

In late November, my fiancée and I moved from a condo townhouse in the city to a home in the country. The exterior of our condo was sprayed multiple times during the spring, summer and fall, so for over four years, we rarely had to worry about ants. From time-to-time we would find an ant or two indoors, but we never actually experienced an "ant problem".

Unfortunately, people seem to associate ants with a dirty home, so nobody wants to admit when they are having problems with ants. But the truth is, ants are not an indication of a dirty home. Ants will make their way into your home for the most microscopic crumb or simply in hopes of food. And once one ant makes its way in, more will follow. As much as I don't like it, I will admit that since moving to the country and the arrival of the warm weather, I have been dealing with ants. I've seen ants in my home and I've certainly had to deal with them outdoors, especially on the patio.

After finding the first few ants in our home and noticing their presence on the patio, we were quick to pick up one of the many solutions available at a nearby grocery store. At this point, we hadn't actually located ant hills outdoors, so we just purchased a product for indoor use. Even though the product we purchased seemed to helped, we decided to look into a DIY solution. Our search led us to 'How to Get Rid of Ants with Three Ingredients' on The Happy Housewife. This solution is easy to make, inexpensive and perhaps more importantly, effective.


  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 0.5 cup white sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp borax

Additional Materials

  • Cotton balls or paper towel
  • Shallow container(s) or lid(s)
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Airtight container with lid


1) In a small mixing bowl combine 1.5 tbsp of borax with 0.5 cup white sugar.

2) Add 1.5 cups of warm water to the bowl and stir until the sugar and borax dissolve.

3) Place your cotton balls or paper towels in the shallow container(s) or lid(s) and then pour the mixture over them, making sure they are thoroughly soaked.

Alternatively, you can soak your cotton balls or paper towels in the mixture first and then transfer to shallow containers or lids.

4) Set your traps to areas where you have seen ants. For me, it was the kitchen, the back entrance and the patio.

5) Transfer any remaining mixture into an airtight container with lid for future use. Be sure to label the container and keep out of reach of children.

Let the ants find the traps. Depending on the severity of your problem and where you have placed your traps, it may happen almost instantly or you may have to wait a while. When the ants do find the traps, let them eat and remember to resist the urge to kill them - you want them to carry the poison back to the rest of the colony.

Results should be evident within a day or two. Continue using the traps until you are no longer seeing ants.

Is Borax Safe?

If you are familiar with borax, you probably know that people continue to debate whether or not it is safe.

For the most part, I have no issues using borax. I certainly feel better using borax in this DIY Ant Trap than using store-bought ant traps and not knowing what chemicals they contain. That being said, as a dog owner, I made sure to set these traps out of my dog's reach.

Are you comfortable using borax in your home?

See results

What about you?

How do you keep your home free from ants?


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    • marleyjustine profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Ottawa, ON Canada

      Have you tried using food-grade diatomaceous earth in and around your garden? The only issue would be that it becomes ineffective once it gets wet, but it might still be worth a try!

      Another solution I've heard works (if you can find the anthill) is to flood it by pouring a kettle or two of boiling water in.

    • RTalloni profile image


      3 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for this look at using borax with links to more info. Some sort of vicious ants (not like any fire ant I've seen before) have me gardening on my tip toes and even considering giving up gardening altogether but we are trying to address the issue from every angle possible.


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