How Long Does It Take Borax to Kill Ants? The Surprising Answer!

Borax, a common household detergent, has been a go-to solution for ant infestations for many years. This natural substance has garnered popularity for its effectiveness in killing ants without using harmful chemicals. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of how long borax takes to kill ants and the surprising answer behind it.

What is borax?

Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a naturally occurring mineral substance that is often used in alternative cleaning solutions. It is generally considered safe to use, and it works by disrupting the ants’ digestive system, leading to dehydration and death.

How does borax kill ants?

When ants come into contact with borax, they ingest the substance and carry it to their nests. Once inside the nest, the borax disrupts the ants’ digestive system, and the ant will ultimately die of dehydration.

How long does it take borax to kill ants?

When borax is used as a bait solution, it can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days for the ants to die off completely. The process is gradual, and the effectiveness of the solution will depend on various factors such as the size of the nest, the number of ants, and the type of ant species present.

Factors that affect the effectiveness of borax on ants

The effectiveness of borax on ants can be influenced by a variety of factors:

  • The size of the ant nest
  • The type of ant species
  • The age of the ants
  • The number of ants present in the nest
  • The attractiveness of the bait solution

How to use borax to kill ants

Using borax to kill ants requires a bit of preparation, but it is a relatively easy process. The following steps will guide you in effectively using borax to kill ants:

Step 1: Prepare the bait mixture

Mix one part borax with three parts sugar or honey to make a bait solution. This will attract ants to the bait, and the borax will do the job of killing them.

Step 2: Find the ant trails and nests

Look for ant trails to locate the nest. Ants tend to follow a certain path when they are on the hunt for food, so you should be able to find the nest by following the trail of ants.

Step 3: Apply the bait solution

Apply the bait solution directly to the ant trails or areas where ants have been seen in your home. Make sure to leave the bait solution undisturbed so the ants can consume it easily.

Step 4: Wait for the borax to take effect

It may take a couple of hours or a few days for the borax to take effect, but eventually, the ants will start to die off. You may need to reapply the solution if the ant nest is particularly large or if there are a lot of ants present.

The advantages of using borax for ant control

There are many advantages to using borax for ant control, including:

  • Borax is a natural substance, which means it is less harmful to the environment and non-target organisms.
  • Borax is a cost-effective solution that is easily available in most grocery stores.
  • Borax is easy to use and can be applied directly to the ant nests or ant trails.
  • Borax has a long-lasting effect, which means that it can keep ants away for a long time after use.

Precautions when using borax for ant control

While borax is generally considered safe to use, there are a few precautions you should take when using it for ant control:

  • Borax should not be ingested by humans or pets. Keep the bait solution away from children and pets.
  • Avoid using borax near food storage areas or areas where food is prepared.
  • Make sure to label the bait solution clearly and store it in a container with a secure lid.
  • Avoid applying the bait solution to areas with high humidity or moisture, as this can reduce the effectiveness of the substance.


Borax is an effective and natural solution for ant infestations. While it may take a bit of time for the ants to die off completely, the gradual process ensures that the majority of the ants in the nest will consume the bait solution, and the effectiveness of the solution will extend to the entire colony. Remember to take the necessary precautions when using borax for ant control, and always read the label before use.

Common questions and their answers

  • Q: Is borax safe to use around children and pets?
  • A: While borax is relatively safe to use, it should be kept away from children and pets as it can be harmful if ingested.
  • Q: Does borax kill all species of ants?
  • A: Borax is effective against most species of ants, but some species are more resistant than others. It may take longer for the substance to take effect on certain species.
  • Q: Can I use borax for outdoor ant infestations?
  • A: Yes, borax can be used for outdoor ant infestations, but it is important to keep it away from areas where non-target organisms may be affected.



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