I have been finding black ants in random rooms in my house. On walls and/or floors.

I called exterminators and they want >$350, which I can't afford right now. They claim they are going to lay bait and then ants will take it back it to the colony to kill them.

Is there an acceptable DIY way to stop them from coming in to the house without using those cheap hardware store traps?

What checmicals can a homeowner use?


2 Answers 2


boric acid (aka orthoboric acid, borax) works VERY well for under $5. Look for a tall white squeezable bottle at Home Repot or the like. Then lookup a recipe online with grease or sugar/jam for proper mixing ratios. Taking the bait back to the nest to destroy the babies is exactly what the boric acid does when used correctly. I wouldn't be surprised if that's what the exterminators are using, with a $345 markup for their "expertise".

Even though it's powerful against bugs, it's basically harmless to pets and humans, having the same LD50 as table salt. That it's cheap, safe, and effective, is why it's my favorite ant+roach solution.

  • 2
    this worked great! Found a recipe and soaked cotton-balls. Put around strategic areas and ants gone in 24 hours.
    – Marinaio
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 15:07
  • makes me happy to learn you got the little suckers! Boric acid wins another round.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 20:00
  • How long does boric acid powder last before it expires? Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 5:41
  • @pacoverflow chemically it lasts a long time, maybe forever? the powder itself can get physically clumpy, but still works fine chemically.
    – dandavis
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 11:08

I use awesome spray from the dollar tree. It kills black ants, spiders, wasps and yellow jackets. So, far that's what I have killed with it when bug spray doesn't do the job. My daughter bought her house and the spiders are a constant thing and the back ants every spring and summer and we used to only deal with the red wasps and now we have them yellow jackets and now bumble bees and the spiders are crazy to me, but we realized that since she us young the real estate agent took advantage because she was selling the house for the other people and worming woth my daughter to buy the house so she didn't disclose a lot of issues with this house. But Awesome works wonders

  • Are you able to provide some evidence of long acting nature, or a list of ingredients. Commented Apr 21 at 10:29

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