I tried Borax with sugar as bait but these ants are not taking it. They wonder aimlessly on ceiling, they come from an electrical junction box in kitchen. There is no visible path it's just circling each other in a specific area on ceiling. I bug sprayed the area but they still go there. There are like dozen visible ants.

  • It makes me wonder what's going on above your ceiling. Something must be attracting them to that spot.
    – mrog
    Sep 27, 2018 at 23:42
  • Exactly it's so strange. Maybe there is greese there that attracts them? I wiped it but they still going there. Maybe there is tiny invisible hole they pop out of and they don't leave the area? I think it's good they don't leave, otherwise they will be all over the house.
    – Altoban
    Sep 28, 2018 at 14:20
  • 1
    mix the borax with Crisco instead of sugar and retry; some ants like sweet, some like grease.
    – dandavis
    Sep 28, 2018 at 16:30

2 Answers 2


You can powder a 3-6 inch border around the outlet box on the ceiling with diatomaceous earth (I'd use food grade since this is in the kitchen) to control the ants. Then I'd use a fire-rated putty to seal the outlet box.

When I lived in an apartment, there was a large colony of ants living by the pool and they would come out of little cracks in the walls. I ended up caulking everywhere I saw a crack or hole and powdering around all the doors windows and that stopped them.

  • Any suggestions for making the diatomaceous earth stick to the ceiling? The application could be very messy. I suggest wearing respiratory protection.
    – mrog
    Sep 28, 2018 at 16:36
  • Updated my answer. You don't really need to stick it to the ceiling as much as powder it. The ants seem to sense the powder and avoid walking on it. It's important to make the border thick enough so they can't bridge it.
    – tk421
    Sep 28, 2018 at 17:46
  • In my experience, food grade diatomaceous earth has no effect on ants. Apr 8, 2023 at 5:43

If you're not adverse to actual insecticides, I recommend something Bifenthrin based. It is relatively safe to mammals and deadly to most insects, and remains effective for a quite a while. I normally spray it outside as a barrier around the base of my house every couple months. But it is also certified for indoor use.

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