Borax powder is a common ingredient in baits for removing ants, but its side effects force people to think of other suitable substitutes that can replace it.
Can You Use Borax Substitute to Kill Ants? You can use the borax substitute to kill ants. Many people use dish soap and vinegar, baking soda and sugar, washing soda, cornstarch and diatomaceous earth, and hydrogen peroxide solution because they contain sodium sesquicarbonate, a combination of sodium carbonate and bicarbonate, and act harshly on the waxy layer of insects.
Ants can create havoc indoors as some are destructive while others become annoying by interfering with food and are responsible for undesirable bites.
Why would you use a borax substitute to kill ants?
Borax is an effective ant-killing powder that can help remove ants in only a few days by interfering with the digestive system. This slow-acting poison is used to prepare baits against insects.
The chemical names of borax are sodium borate and tetraborate, and disodium tetraborate, which are natural compounds and effective insecticides.
It can remain inside the digestive system and causes interference with the functioning of the stomach after 24 to 48 hours. This way, it can remove their colonies as foragers transfer food to fellows.
However, it is challenging to find borax because it is not readily available in comparison to other cleaning solutions. You have to find them in big stores due to slow marketing.
Borax has a toxic effect if accidentally consumed by pets and even people because it is a dry powder that can be inhaled or get into the eyes.
Accordingly, people look for other substitutes that can work like borax and kill ants with the same efficiency by interfering with their internal systems.
In addition, it can put the lives of children at risk, as unintentional ingestion can make them unwell and cause stomach issues. So, people find suitable alternatives to this toxic substance.
Moreover, some species reject baits prepared from borax, so finding other alternatives for infestations is essential.
You can find many suitable home ingredients to use as a substitute for borax, but a laundry product contains sodium sesquicarbonate, which has a similar impact on insects.
It has a similar pH and helps remove grease stains from clothes, so it can also dissolve the waxy layer on their bodies and make them prone to death when the exoskeleton gets removed.
How do you use the borax substitute to kill ants?
You can use sodium sesquicarbonate against ants’ infestations, as this product is a mixture of sodium carbonate (washing soda) and bicarbonate (baking soda) that are hydrated in water.
They have almost similar pH as both turn into basic solutions after being dissolved in water. For example, the pH of borax is 9.1, while that of sodium sesquicarbonate is 9.9 when crystals are mixed in water.
You can prepare a powerful killing solution by mixing crystals into the water and spraying it over trails to get control over infestations. It causes drying of the exoskeleton and makes them die.
Continuous spraying for a few seconds can help drown these insects and removes the scent of pheromones from the floor to avoid the entrance of other insects.
In addition, you can also use this detergent to prepare a strong bait against indoor pests, as these insects cannot digest detergent powder when consumed with sugar granules or powder.
So, it can help remove insects when added in baits or spray form to remove their trails from the ground and avoid unwanted entries to the house.
What things can be used as a borax substitute to kill ants?
There are many natural substitutes of borax in addition to sodium sesquicarbonate that can cause interference in the normal functioning of their body systems and make them die.
Dish soap and vinegar
You can use soap or even detergent used for washing clothes to kill ants. These soaps and detergents contain surfactants that can react with the exoskeleton of insects.
In addition, white vinegar is also readily available in the kitchen, requiring no investment in buying other commercial products or substitutes.
Mix 2 to 4 tablespoons of dish soap and 2 to 3 tablespoons of salt into 1 to 2 cups of white vinegar and water to prepare an effective killing solution.
Shift the solution to a spray bottle and spray it over the trails to drown the marching insects and kill them. In addition, you can also pour the solution into their mounds to drown colonies.
Baking soda and sugar
Baking soda comes before on the pH scale than borax as its pH is 8 and 9.5, meaning the former is acidic and acts slightly different from borax.
However, this acidic powder can cause serious digestion problems when consumed in combination with powdered sugar in the form of bait.
Baits can help get rid of the whole colonies as they attract a large number of insects due to sugar, which is usually carried back to the nests and lead to the removal of colonies.
Mix baking soda and powdered sugar in 1:3 and put the mixture within the lid or a shallow dish to attract ants. You can add water to make it slightly wet, attracting pests.
Washing soda or detergent
You can replace borax with washing soda, which can be used as a powder or a solution. Add water to 2 to 3 tablespoons of detergent to make a soapy solution.
It works on the outer surface of their bodies and removes moisture, resulting in the drying of their bodies. Ants cannot survive in a dry environment and die due to dehydration.
Cornstarch and diatomaceous earth
Cornstarch and diatomaceous earth are pretty effective at killing pests as they interfere with the digestive system and nervous systems of insects and make them die instantly.
Diatomaceous earth causes drying of their exoskeleton and makes them prone to death as it sucks moisture locked into their hard outer shell.
It does not need to be consumed for killing as it can work even if a small amount of powder sticks to their bodies while passing through it.
In the same way, you can utilize cornstarch to kill the insects that turn into a hard cement-like material in some time after coming in contact with water.
It can kill ants after consumption when you spray some water during consumption of powder, or it can also swell up when they drink water after it.
So, both can act as substitutes for borax when used separately, as they interfere with internal functioning and cause problems in the digestion of food.
You can use hydrogen peroxide solution to kill ants as it can be diluted in water to remove the scent trails and drown their tiny bodies.
Mix food-grade hydrogen peroxide and water in 1:11 to prepare a 35% solution to be used against ants. Then, spray it on trails of odorous houses, argentine, pharaoh ants, etc., and they will die.
It takes only a few minutes to kill them, so you can wipe out their dead bodies to restrict the entry of other insects as their nest mates reach the death spot to carry the dead bodies.