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?


1 Answer 1


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
    Jul 9, 2018 at 15:07
  • makes me happy to learn you got the little suckers! Boric acid wins another round.
    – dandavis
    Jul 9, 2018 at 20:00
  • How long does boric acid powder last before it expires? 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
    Apr 15, 2020 at 11:08

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