Killing Grease-Eating Ants with Borax: Trial One

I’ve had ants in my kitchen for at least a month. I normally put Terro out for ants, and they’re gone in three days. This colony won’t touch Terro. I’ve gotten several other brands of bait. They aren’t working either. These ants are grease eaters – no sweets for them. I keep looking for bait designed for grease eating ants, but I don’t see any. So I decided to try making my own.

Borax is the suggested poison for ants (and cockroaches). I’m not sure what it does to them, but whatever it is, it takes a while. They go back to their colony and feed others, then die. The benefit is that the queen gets it. If she dies: game over.

I didn’t have any bacon grease or bits of meat around the house, so I decided to try cat food. I’ve seen them picking at cat food before. I crushed some up, mixed in the borax, and put it out on the counter:

Cat food:
I took it from the bag, not from Max's bowl.

Crush it:
It kept shooting out of the bowl when it broke.

Add borax:
I could only buy a gigantic box of borax, but apparently it has a lot of uses besides being ant poison.

Set it out:
They didn't jump on it like sweet-eaters do Terro, but there were ants taking it.

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12 Responses to Killing Grease-Eating Ants with Borax: Trial One

  1. Lauren says:

    This is so exciting!!! If it works, you are going to be the grease-eating-ant-killer king!!

    I’m so curious – why do they like grease? If you looked at sweet and grease colonies side-by-side, would one be hyper and one have really bad acne?

  2. Peggy says:

    That is a genius idea!

    Is it possible for you to very quietly follow one of the grease eaters back to the colony and leave a giant pile of your concoction nearby….with a happy sign that says, Enjoy your summer or Happy Birthday Queen!

  3. Lloyd says:

    I, for one, would like to see some video footage.

    • Brad says:

      I would be happy to oblige, but there are currently NO ants in my kitchen. Does borax work that quickly, or is it just a coincidence?

      • Carol says:

        Perhaps Max had a talk with them after seeing how you mashed POISON into his CAT FOOD. [Perhaps his end of the conversation wnet somethng like this: "Hey! Ants! Better get a move on 'fore I start eatin' YOU!" Not a lot of protein per ant, but a cat would do what a cat would have to do, I suppose...]

        Now, seriously – no chance Max could injest any of this, right?

  4. Pingback: Killing Grease-Eating Ants with Borax: Trial Two | bradaptation.com

  5. Dallas says:

    Grease eating ants are protein eaters. They prefer protein food sources. Sugar eating ants prefer sugar of course, some ants aren’t choosy others will eat either or a combination. To determine whether your ants are hunting for protein or sweets set out a bit of jelly and a bit of peanut butter. The peanut butter has the protein. If your ants are attracted to one over the other that is your target bait mixture. Terro usually does a good job on any kind of ant, we have an infestation currently that terro has not seemed to touch. It in fact seems to be fattening them up.

    • Brad says:

      Thanks for the info, Dallas. I didn’t realize it was the protein they liked. I had assumed it was fat for some reason. Maybe I’ll have to try borax in peanut butter next time I have grease eaters.

  6. Dallas says:

    sorry about the emoticon, don’t know how that got on there, I didn’t add it

    • Brad says:

      The emoticon gets added by a widget in the website software. They’re random faces. Some of them are cute. Sorry yours is cross-eyed and has angry eyebrows.

  7. Laila says:

    I read on another site to mix 1 tsp peanut butter with 1 tsp honey and add 1/2 tsp boric acid. Mix well and set it out wherever you see ants. BUT DO NOT PLACE IT WHERE DOMESTIC ANIMALS CAN GET IT. The mixture is supposed to target ants seeking protein and also sugar. So I mixed up some this morning and set it out on their path. I used the small, shallow, plastic lid from a gallon of milk. They are devouring it and carrying it back “home.” Hopefully soon they will all be gone. :-)

    • Brad says:

      Thanks, Laila! That sounds like a a great mixture to try. I haven’t seen grease-eaters in my kitchen for a while, but next time I do, I’ll definitely try this.

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